Every day reports emerge of new violence in Iraq with large numbers of people being forced to flee their homes and roam the country looking for safety, carrying whatever meager belongings they can. The pictures and stories of these internally displaced people are both pathetic and infuriating to read. It is hard to imagine that before the US invaded Iraq, it was one of the most modern countries in the region with good infrastructure and public services. Now much has been destroyed and the people deeply impoverished.
You would think that the people who steamrolled the US into a disastrous and criminal war of choice against Iraq would have the decency to shut up and stay out of sight now that things are going sour in a major way. But no. These people have no shame and they are back dispensing further advice on what should be done and, to no one’s surprise, they are arguing for more war and more bombing, because there is nothing they like better than bombing Muslim-majority countries that Israel and its lobby perceive as enemies.
Here are neoconservatives Frederick Kagan and William Kristol, two of the major cheerleaders for that war, arguing that the US should once again send troops and air support to Iraq.
It’s widely agreed that the collapse of Iraq would be a disaster for American interests and security in the Middle East and around the world. It also seems to be widely assumed either that there’s nothing we can now do to avert that disaster, or that our best bet is supporting Iran against al Qaeda. Both assumptions are wrong. It would be irresponsible to embrace a premature fatalism with respect to Iraq. And it would be damaging and counterproductive to accept a transformation of our alliances and relationships in the Middle East to the benefit of the regime in Tehran. There is a third alternative.
That alternative is to act boldly and decisively to help stop the advance of the forces of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS)—without empowering Iran. This would mean pursuing a strategy in Iraq (and in Syria) that works to empower moderate Sunni and Shi’a without taking sectarian sides. This would mean aiming at the expulsion of foreign fighters, both al Qaeda terrorists and Iranian and Lebanese Hezbollah regular and special forces, from Iraq.
This would require a willingness to send American forces back to Iraq. It would mean not merely conducting U.S. air strikes, but also accompanying those strikes with special operators, and perhaps regular U.S. military units, on the ground. [My italic-MS]
Yes, this is a great idea considering that the same idea worked so well the first time around. These odious people have no problem being ‘bold’ and ‘decisive’ when it is other people being killed. Notice that the justification given is ‘American interests and security in the Middle East and around the world’. Gone is the earlier fig leaf of concern for the plight of the Iraqi people. At least they didn’t call their campaign “Shock and Awe II”.
And it now appears that president Obama has sending 275 troops back to Iraq and an aircraft carrier and two battleships are already in the region. The troops are supposedly meant to provide extra security for the US embassy, the largest US embassy in the world, where some of the personnel have already been relocated to consulates around the country and to neighboring states.
David Ferguson provides a list of warmongers whom he says should just shut up about Iraq, given that they were so disastrously wrong the first time around. It is a good list. It includes Andrew Sullivan, Judith Miller, Thomas Friedman, the New York Times, Ezra Klein, Matt Yglesias, Peter Beinart, Ari Fleischer, and John McCain but is nowhere complete and can never be complete because the number of political and media personalities who wanted to have their glorious war was large, among which we can include enablers such as Hillary Clinton, Lindsay Graham, and those members of Congress who voted in October 2002 for the Authorization of Use of Military Force in Iraq.
Of course this does not include all those who should rightly be in the Hague defending themselves from charges of being war criminals. This includes George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Colin Powell, Condoleeza Rice, Paul Wolfowitz, David Addington, and Douglas Feith, and their UK equivalents consisting of the odious and unctuous Tony Blair and his own crew of war criminals. It is when thinking of these people that I yearn to believe in the concept of hell except that I cannot conceive of a hell horrific enough to mete out a punishment harsh enough to suit the crimes they committed.
The list of people who were dead wrong is almost endless. But these people never pay any price for being wrong. They have no shame and our pusillanimous and complicit media will continue to trot them out as if they have something useful to say rather than turning away from them in disgust.
To his credit, televangelist Pat Robertson (yes, that crazy person) has ripped into George W. Bush and his crew for lying the country into war, saying that it was a big mistake to go into Iraq and that we were lied into it.
“And so to sell the American people on weapons of mass destruction, he had WMD and was getting [concentrated uranium] yellowcake out of Africa and all of that, it was a lot of nonsense,” the TV preacher said. “We were sold a bill of goods, we should never have gone into that country!”
His solution is to wait for the End Times and let Jesus sort it all out, which is a better plan than the Kagan-Kristol one.