2011 Beginning of Withdrawals - History

2011 Beginning of Withdrawals - History

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2011 Beginning of Withdrawals

Kunar Province

President Obama announced in June the beginning of troop withdrawals from Afghanistan. 10,000 troops would be withdrawn in 2011 and an additional 23,000 were scheduled to be withdrawn in 2012. Others NATO members followed suit. In November 2011 NATO troops accidentally attacked Pakistani troops which impacted NATO relation with Pakistan. The US captured and killed Osama Bin Ladin in May of 2011.

Fact Check: Did Obama Withdraw From Iraq Too Soon, Allowing ISIS To Grow?

In 2014 photo, demonstrators chant pro-ISIS slogans in front of the provincial government headquarters in Mosul, Iraq.

Like everyone else, the Republican candidates talk about ISIS a lot. And what they — at least Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush — charge is that ISIS is President Obama's fault, because he withdrew troops from Iraq in 2011 — when he should have kept them there to keep a lid on the insurgency.

"Barack Obama became president, and he abandoned Iraq. He left, and when he left al Qaida was done for. ISIS was created because of the void that we left, and that void now exists as a caliphate the size of Indiana." — former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush

The Big Question:

OK, maybe it's actually two questions:

  1. Is Obama responsible for the timing of the troop withdrawal from Iraq?
  2. Did that withdrawal cause the rise of ISIS?

And there are answers for both, though not simple ones.

The Long Answer:

First, we have to decide on a starting point.

Many Democrats, and even a few Republicans, say we should look back to the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. That, and the dismantling of the entire security force, created an angry, mainly Sunni demographic, which fueled the insurgency that would later become ISIS.

Others go back further, pointing out the strong links between Saddam Hussein's brutal Baathist regime, and the structure, methods and, indeed, commanders of ISIS.

But if we take the invasion as a given, and Saddam Hussein as history, we can begin the answer to the first question --

Was Obama responsible for the timing of the withdrawal?

It was President George W. Bush who signed the Status of Forces agreement in 2008, which planned for all American troops to be out of Iraq by the end of 2011.

"The agreement lays out a framework for the withdrawal of American forces in Iraq — a withdrawal that is possible because of the success of the surge," he said in a joint press conference with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki at the time.

Moments later, an Iraqi journalist threw his shoes at the president. It is important to remember most Iraqis saw the Americans as occupiers and blame them for civilian deaths.

Maliki summed up the sentiment at the time, thus:

"The incomplete sovereignty and the presence of foreign troops are the most dangerous, most complicated and most burdensome legacy we have faced since the time of dictatorship. Iraq should get rid of them to protect its young democratic experiment."

Thousands of American troops had died, and by the time Obama announced the withdrawal, fully three-quarters of Americans supported the withdrawal (though a majority of Republicans did not).

Still, many had real concerns al Qaeda wasn't done for. And there were some, including U.S. senators, saying the troops should stay just in case things went downhill. They say Obama should have sold the idea, hard, to Maliki.

Iraq analyst Kirk Sowell said Obama never really tried.

"This is one of the criticisms of Obama — that he sort of wanted the negotiations to fail," Sowell said, "and, so, he didn't even talk to Maliki until it was basically all over."

The State Department's lawyers said troops couldn't stay in Iraq unless the Iraqi parliament authorized them to do so, including granting them immunity from Iraqi law. The Iraqi parliamentarians would never OK such a decision, with Iraqi popular opinion staunchly against U.S. troops staying.

Sowell saw State's decision as a deliberately insurmountable obstacle.

"It was a barrier that was very high," he said, "and there was no way it was going to be jumped over."

But, does Obama bear responsibility for the timing of the troop withdrawal? On balance, no.

He was following through on an agreement made by Bush and abiding by the will of the Iraqi and American people.

Alright so, onto the next question --

Did the withdrawal of troops lead to the rise of ISIS?

Back then, in 2011, there was no ISIS. The group didn't exist under that name yet. There was just their predecessor, al Qaeda in Iraq, which had been at the forefront of the terrible insurgency in Iraq. But many thought it was licked.

"All of the intelligence that we had gathered, all of the results of the surge, all of the detainees we had in our detention system, all of the information we had coming to us from people on the ground, from the tribes indicated that al Qaeda in Iraq was defeated," said Ret. Col. Peter Mansoor, who served in Iraq.

That surge was the influx of American soldiers, and the way the U.S. military organized Sunni tribes to fight against insurgents. The Americans paid them, helped arm them and gave them air cover.

One of those tribal leaders, Sheikh Hamid Taees, told me: "In May of 2006, I worked closely with the American side to rid Anbar of terrorism and al Qaeda, and actually we killed a large number of al Qaeda fighters."

But by the time of that comment, early in 2014, al Qaeda was beginning to get a grip on Sunni areas again, including that province of Anbar.

Many Sunni sheikhs say once the American soldiers left, the minority Sunni population of Iraq suffered under a government dominated by the Shiite majority. That government stopped paying most of them, and even arrested many.

(As an aside, we should note that there was a political, as well as a military, dimension to American influence in Iraq: Obama continued to support the government even as Sunni fear and anger grew. "We were encouraged," he said in 2013, "by the work that Prime Minister Maliki has done in the past to ensure that all people inside of Iraq — Sunni, Shia and Kurd — feel that they have a voice in their government."

(But they did not feel that. Sheikh Zeidan al-Jabri led a series of Sunni protests and sit-ins in Anbar, which were eventually violently dispersed by security forces at the end of 2013.

("For a year, we did not attack anyone we were an example of democracy on an international level," he told me from exile in Jordan. "And what did the world do? The world simply turned its face from us and gave Maliki the permission to attack the demonstrations and kill hundreds of innocent demonstrators.")

So some Sunnis were drawn back to the insurgency. ISIS found supporters and gained ground. And, yes, much of that could have been prevented by a big U.S. troop presence.

The other thing that happened after the American military left was that the Iraqi army deteriorated dramatically.

"They really did become relatively complacent, and then flat out just didn't train," said Major-General Paul E. Funk II, speaking after abruptly returning to Iraq on a training mission 2014. "Just didn't spend the money to do it, didn't maintain the systems and therein lies the problem."

And corruption was running rampant. Supplies were stolen soldiers were paid, who never reported for duty. And, so, when ISIS came rushing into the city of Mosul last year, the military collapsed.

I met one of the defeated Iraqi troops, named Bahr Ibrahim, shortly afterward, sitting dejectedly next to an injured friend in a hospital not far from Mosul.

"We fought," he said. But ISIS had more men and bigger weapons.

So, yes, the withdrawal of U.S. troops helped ISIS. If they'd stayed, they could have bolstered Iraq's security forces and tamped down Sunni anger.

But the Republicans' claim that ISIS grew because Obama withdrew troops from Iraq still glosses over many other factors beyond America's control — like the fact that the rift between Sunnis and Shiites in Iraq has been going on for centuries. And that wasn't going to be permanently solved by American troops.

Another crucial thing is Syria. For reasons completely beyond Obama's control, after 2011, Syria sank into civil war. Suddenly, just over Iraq's borders were vast ungoverned spaces and lots of weapons. It became a safe haven for ISIS to grow in.

The Republican candidates have the benefit of hindsight now, but they couldn't have predicted all the things that contributed to the growth of ISIS back then. And neither could Obama.

The Short Answer:

1. No, Obama shouldn't shoulder the full burden for the timing of the withdrawal of troops

2. Yes, a significant American troop presence would have helped slow the growth of ISIS

But with the significant caveat that there were many other factors that enabled ISIS to become strong — and they weren't all predictable in 2011.


Withdrawal symptoms vary depending on the type of drug you were taking. Some symptoms commonly associated with withdrawal include:

  • Changes in appetite
  • Changes in mood
  • Congestion
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Muscle pain
  • Nausea
  • Restlessness
  • Runny nose
  • Shakiness
  • Sleeping difficulties
  • Sweating
  • Tremors
  • Vomiting

More severe symptoms such as hallucinations, seizures, delirium may also occur in some instances. The type of drug you were taking, the amount of time you were taking it, and the dosage you were taking can all have an effect on the type and severity of the symptoms you experience.

While the physical symptoms of withdrawal might last only a few days or a week, the psychological withdrawal, such as depression or dysphoria, can last much longer.  

Causes of Greece's Inflation

The main cause of Greece's hyperinflation was World War II, which loaded the country with debt, dissolved its trade and resulted in four years of Axis occupation.

At the outset of World War II, Greece saw a budget surplus for fiscal 1939 of 271 million drachma, but this slipped to a deficit of 790 million drachma in 1940, due mostly to trade, reduced industrial production as a result of scarce raw materials and unexpected military expenditures. The country's deficits would continue to be funded by monetary advances from the Bank of Greece, which had doubled the money supply in two years.

With tax revenues down and military expenditures up nearly 10-fold, Greece's finances were in a downward spiral. The country was occupied by Axis forces by May 1941, and Greece's military costs were replaced by expenditures from the support of 400,000 troops, which varied between one-third and three-fifths of the country's outlays during the occupation, which were all funded by the printing of money by the Bank of Greece. The Greek puppet government - established by the occupying forces - did not tax to cover its costs and revenues represented less than 6 percent of expenditures during the final year of occupation. This was combined with national income dropping from 67.4 billion drachma in 1939 to 20 billion in 1942, a level that was maintained until 1944.

Hyperinflation began in 1943, when expectations of future inflation caused Greeks to refuse to accept the currency and the government began paying in gold franc coins, which further encouraged the public to hold wealth in non-currency forms and decreased confidence in the drachma, reducing the elasticity of and the demand for domestic currency. When the government in exile returned to Athens, they had a limited ability to collect taxes outside of the capital and ran into substantial unemployment and refugee costs. By the time the new government's stabilization effort went into effect, revenues comprised 0.4 percent of expenditures, with the Bank of Greece covering the rest.

The stabilization effort occurred while the war was still going on, a civil war broke out and there was little hope of restoring Greece's export trade (traditionally with members of the Axis) or the import of raw materials, dipping the country back into high inflation once more before the currency finally stabilized.


The principal site in the brain that triggers the onset of opioid withdrawal syndrome is the locus coeruleus at the base of the brain. Neurons present in locus coeruleusਊre noradrenergic and have an increased number of opioid receptors. The locus coeruleus region is the main source of NAergic innervation of the limbic system and cerebral and cerebellar cortices. The NAergic activity in locus coeruleus neurons, opioid receptor linked mechanism, is a prime causative site of opioid withdrawal symptoms. Furthermore, research has also shown that gray matter and nucleus raphe magnus is also involved in the presentation of opioid withdrawal syndrome.[1]


While gabapentin withdrawal may not be well understood, the recorded cases are alarming. Many of the gabapentin withdrawal case studies involve people with a history of psychiatric or substance abuse problems.   If you share either of these risk factors, there is cause for concern.

Pre-Existing Conditions

During detox and withdrawal, the symptoms of pre-existing conditions often return. People with a history of bipolar disorder, psychosis, depression, and epilepsy are all at risk.

If you have been taking gabapentin for pain, your pain may return to pretreatment levels. People with these conditions may be safer detoxing in a hospital setting, where doctors are prepared to treat any possible complications.

If you have a pre-existing condition or a history of complicated substance withdrawal, then you might want to consider spending the first few days of your withdrawal in a hospital or specialized inpatient detox facility.


If you are pregnant, gabapentin can have unpredictable effects. There is one case study in which an infant was admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit because she was born in gabapentin withdrawal.  

If you are pregnant, talk to your obstetrician about the safety of gabapentin and the possibility of tapering down before your baby is born.

7 thoughts on &ldquo A Short History of Thorazine. &rdquo

does anyone know the long term side effect after stopping excessive “years” of using Thorazine…twenty years later could vascular damage have occured?

Hi Jacqueline! According to the National Center of Biotechnology Information, “If you suddenly stop taking chlorpromazine, you may experience withdrawal symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, dizziness, and shakiness.”

Vascular damage isn’t mentioned, but it would be best to ask a doctor.

I hope that helps, and thank you for commenting!

Clearly not enough research on your part….this drug has been banned in some countries.

Stopping Thorazine abruptly aftre years of use, especially at high doses cancause major cardiac problems or evendeath. I used to work on a long term chronicallu assaultive unit, where they had to moveour residents out to small psyc nursing homes,motels-the owner was not a nurse or clinician,therefor was limited on what he could administer. One 40 year old resident wasstarating to feel so good, that he satarted riding his bike and hada heart attack.

Tori Vogt MBA (@ToriVogt) on January 23, 2014 at 11:12 pm said:

Good to know. We are always challenged with helping patients determine whether the risks outweigh the benefits. Better to have lived well then have existed with no quality of life.

I can’t say that I ‘know’ what all the post long-term treatment effects of thorazine/chlorpromazine are – but then neither does anyone else know what they are or might be. It is known to cause motor control problems, tardive dyskenisia, as already mentioned, and early ‘withdrawal’ symptoms have been studied and, it seems to me rather listlessly, recorded.

One thing on which most agree is that it is a ‘dirty’ drug, in that it affects almost the whole Central Nervous System – it would therefore follow that any CNS effects are possible.

I withdrew it very carefully over a period of three months after 12 years of varying but usually high doses. At first I not only felt better but looked better and had some energy for the first time in years. I then fell ill with a constellation of symptoms ranging from hemiplegia to cardiac irregularities, photosensitivity to motor control problems, urinary incontinence to ileus. I regret that, in the UK, all these symptoms were judged as somatic delusions and ignored.

At that time I was living between France and the UK. When I moved to France and began seeing French doctors, I was swiftly referred to neurologists. The diagnosis was hemiplegic migraine and complex partial seizures I was prescribed anticonvulsants and betablockers. My health gradually improved until I could at least function more or less normally. But cognition has remained severely compromised, and this is a shame because I was formerly a bright and creative person.

I’ve always suffered from migraine, and it could well be that I’ve also always been epileptic, as seizures such as mine begin subtly and stealthily. There is epilepsy on one side of the family and migraine on both sides, so the likelihood of these conditions being inherited is high. Thus it is also likely that, when antipsychotic treatment began, my CNS was already more sensitive to it that a normal CNS would be. However, I’ve also read widely on the subject of this drug and its mechanisms over the last three to four years, and I find the correlation between these and the areas of function which have been affected almost 100%. In fact the only symptom I have which does not accord with long-term phenothiazine use is transient hemiplegia. The rest of the symptoms come from a general disturbance of the CNS which could have been inherited, could be attributable to drugs, or which could be attributable to a mixture of both.

All one can really know – because insufficient research has been or is being done – is that the drug should be used with extreme caution in cases where there is any existing neurological or metabolic dysfunction, however minor that dysfunction may seem. (The same, incidentally, should be true of ECT.) But of course, doctors have been aware of that for a long time but have also long been permitted to go their own way without any real accountability. Possibly this may now be changing, because of changing attitudes and levels of public awareness (thanks mainly to the Net). But we ex-patients must keep up a steady pressure all the same, that we are not dismissed as neurotics but that our weird and distressing symptoms are heard and properly examined.

It would be interesting to know how you fared in the three or four years since you posted your question. If you still follow this site, I for one would be grateful for news – have your symptoms amerliorated? Been diagnosed and treated? Please let us know.

Building the Perfect Beast

One year into its existence, Snapchat upped the ante – and the user count – by introducing video to the app, which had just started selling in the Google Play store. The videos were only 10 seconds long, but the rollout was successful enough to push so-called “snaps” to 50 million per day.

In 2013, Snapchat followed up with two new features – “Stories” and 𠇌hat”. The story feature enabled Snapchat users to post a series of snaps that would remain active and viewable for 24 hours.

Its Chat function helped move Snapchat higher up on the social media pyramid. Introduced in May, 2014, Chat allowed users to talk to one another in the chat window via a live video chat. Snapchat also introduced “Our Story,” another story function that enabled Snapchat users all over the world to post photos and videos from ballgames, concerts, political rallies and other public events.

Later that year, Snapchat introduced Geofilters, which allowed site users to customize their content and post their location at the time of the post.

2014 was a busy year, as in December Snapchat rolled out Snapcash, a money transaction feature which enables site consumers to send and receive cash from other users, and have it deposited straightaway into their bank account. Also in December, 2014, Snapchat extended its reach into the financial realm with Community Geofilters. Now, Snapchat consumers were able to generate their own Geofilters or simply buy branded filters for their own use.

By 2015, Snapchat was reaching 75 million users on a monthly basis. Advertisements were now pervasive on the site, giving the company a huge source of revenue (by 2018, 99% of Snap, Inc’s total revenue came from advertising, according to the company’s internal financials.) Video continued to be one of the company’s most widely-used tools by consumers, with six billion videos daily, only three years after video was introduced on the site.

Soon, the company would officially create a parent company, called Snap, Inc. and began preparing for a $25 billion initial public offering, which would kick off in 2017.

Deduct This: History of the IRA Deduction

Studebaker was a manufacturing company that started in 1852 in South Bend, Indiana, making wagons for farmers, miners, and the military. Ten years after the first gasoline-powered car was tested in the U.S., Studebaker entered the car manufacturing business and it was, at one point, the largest automobile maker in the world. By the 1960s, however, the company was having financial and labor difficulties and the last Studebaker car rolled off the assembly line on March 16, 1966.

Studebaker had a legacy that was bigger than cars. In the 1960s, as Studebaker was shuttering its plants, the company realized that its pension plan was so poorly funded that it could not afford to pay all its employees their pensions. As a result, thousands of workers received no pension or only part of their pensions.

As a result of that story and others like it, the public began to put pressure on Congress to do something to protect pension plans. In 1974, Congress enacted the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, often referred to as ERISA.

ERISA was huge. It regulated pension plans, retirement plans and other benefits, including health care plans.

One of the key components of ERISA was the individual retirement account, or IRA. As originally contemplated, taxpayers could contribute up to $1,500 per year and reduce taxable income by the amount of the contributions. Additionally, the amount inside the IRA would grow without being immediately taxed, a concept referred to as "tax deferred."

Since the point of ERISA was to protect workers with benefit plans, initially, IRAs were restricted to those workers who were not already covered by a qualified employment-based retirement plan. This all changed under Reagan's 1981 Economic Recovery Tax Act ("ERTA") which removed that restriction. Under ERTA, all taxpayers who were age 70½ or less could contribute to an IRA. Also under ERTA, taxpayers could contribute up to $2,000 for their own IRA and $250 for a nonworking spouse and receive a tax deduction.

IRAs did not survive Reagan's next set of tax reforms unscathed. Under the Tax Reform Act of 1986 ("1986 TRA"), deductions were phased out for high-income taxpayers who were covered by an employment-based retirement plan or had a spouse covered under such a plan.

Ten years later, however, the Small Business Job Protection Act of 1996 ("SBJPA") expanded the scope of the IRA. Under SBJPA, the limits for contributions for nonworking spouses were increased from $250 to $2,000. The following year, the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 ("1997 TRA") made even more significant changes. The phase-out limits for high-income taxpayers were increased and the rules were tweaked to allow more taxpayers who were not covered by an employment-based retirement plan to make contributions.

The 1997 TRA also introduced the Roth IRA, named for Sen. William Roth (D-DE). Roth IRAs are a special type of retirement accounts that allow for contributions to be made out of after-tax assets. Since the tax is already paid on those assets, there's no tax on the withdrawals. There is, however, also no corresponding distribution deduction on your tax return.

IRAs continued to expand under the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 (EGTRRA). EGTRRA boosted contribution limits for IRAs to $5,000 per qualifying person per year. In addition, EGTRRA allowed for "catch-up" contributions of up to $1,000 for taxpayers aged 50 and above. EGTRRA was only temporary, however, and was slated to expire at the end of 2010.

Today, assuming you qualify, you can make an IRA contribution and take a deduction under §219 of the Tax Code:

In the case of an individual, there shall be allowed as a deduction an amount equal to the qualified retirement contributions of the individual for the taxable year.

Phase out and other limitations still apply. It's always a good idea to check with your tax professional for all of the details.

You can generally make a contribution right up until Tax Day and have it count for the prior taxable year. So, for example, for 2011, you can make a contribution all the way up to April 17, 2012 (yes, Tax Day in 2012 falls on a weekend). The deduction is taken on the front page of your federal form 1040 (downloads as a pdf) at line 32 ,or line 28 for the self-employed though different rules apply.

Don't let the term "deduction" throw you. The IRA deduction is available whether you claim the standard deduction or itemized your deductions on a Schedule A. Since the IRA deduction is taken on the front page, it's considered an "above the line" deduction. "Above the line" deductions are also called adjustments to income since they reduce your taxable income.

The idea behind the IRA deduction, of course, is to encourage people to save. I'm not sure, in practice, if the deduction significantly adds to the appeal of the IRA since it's been my experience that most taxpayers tend to make the contribution primarily for the deferral, not the deduction. It does, of course, make me curious: do you make contributions for the deferral, the deduction or some other reason?

Chronic Cough in Children

In children, a cough lasting longer than four weeks is considered chronic. The most common causes of chronic cough in children are asthma, respiratory tract infections, and GERD.25 The differential diagnosis for chronic isolated cough without associated wheezing in an otherwise healthy child includes recurrent viral bronchitis, postinfectious cough, pertussis-like illness, cough-variant asthma, UACS, psychogenic cough, and GERD. Signs suggestive of serious underlying lung disease include neonatal onset of cough, chronic moist or purulent cough, cough starting with and persisting after a choking episode, cough occurring during or after feedings, or associated failure to thrive.26

The pathway recommended for investigating chronic cough in adults is not suitable for children younger than 15 years.27 Children with chronic cough should undergo chest radiography and spirometry, at minimum.3 , 6 , 26 , 28

Foreign body aspiration should be considered in young children. Congenital conditions, cystic fibrosis, and immune disorders are possible diagnoses in children with chronic cough and recurrent infections. Congenital abnormalities, although rare, can include vascular rings, tracheoesophageal fistulas, and primary ciliary dyskinesia.29

Data Sources : A PubMed search was completed in Clinical Queries using the key term cough, in combination with chronic, guideline, children, adults, treatment, etiology, and causes The search included reviews, randomized controlled trials, and clinical trials Also searched were the National Guideline Clearinghouse, Essential Evidence, the Cochrane database, UpToDate, and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality evidence reports. Search date: June 1, 2010.

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