What exactly does the right expect in Iraq?

After several weeks of media hyped fear-mongering over ISIS in Iraq, conservatives are still unable to voice a coherent position on that bloody clusterfuck and maybe we can speculate on why that is. For starters, traditional media is now coming to terms with the fact that ISIS isn’t a real life Muslim fueled super-villain destined to prevail and never was:

NBC News — The official said disputes between ISIS and two large Sunni insurgent groups in Iraq – JRTN, or, in Arabic, “The Army of Men of the Naqshbandi,” and “The 1920 Revolutionary Brigades” – led to “skirmishes” between the uneasy allies in the last week. Those disagreements underline the difficulty building a cohesive fighting force in a country where tribal loyalties often outstrip political and religious alliances to groups like the Ba’athist Party of Saddam Hussein, the official added. The tribal groups do not necessarily follow strict Islamic law the way ISIS does, which naturally leads to conflict, the official added.

Maybe we need a newer threat to strike fear into the hearts of US politicians so they will bend to the will of conservative puppeteers. If only conservatives could figure out what their will should be.

As best I can figure out, conservatives are having a meltdown that the folly of Bush and Cheney’s totally awesome Iraq adventure is coming back to bite them on the ass, again. As it likely will for the next decade or two at least. Trillion dollar mistakes written in trainloads of needless blood and tragedy have a way of doing that. But part of the winger poutrage seems to be that Obama and the entire nation aren’t mindlessly falling for the scam this time, at least not all the way and not for now. Then again, that scam never had much political or pragmatic appeal to the nation’s elected officials or the voters who put them in power.

Conservatives seemed to think a President who campaigned vigorously in 2008 and won by substantial majorities on getting us out of the greatest mistake since Vietnam, and repeated that campaign plank in 2012, should now reverse course and do what their guys, who lost the 2008 and 2012 elections, wanted to do. According to some Republicans, Obama should abandon the electorally sanctioned policy of ending US involvement, act against the vast majority of a public that has come to believe Iraq was a needless catastrophe, and play along with a minority of discredited neocons and their associated DoD and ideological leeches.

And what’s the payoff for the President if he takes this gravely unpopular course of action, what does the right expect? It’s as delusional as anything else the usual suspects push. Obama should re-enter this already unpopular disaster called the civil war in Iraq secure in the knowledge that it might earn him fleeting, tacit approval from an entrenched opposition motivated by, loyal to, and in most cases composed of a seamy underbelly of racist, misogynist voters and a few hacks exploiting the fears of same. All of whom can’t agree on much of anything beyond the fact that they will never vote for democrats and who have an almost perfect, unblemished record of hating anything Obama does or thinks about doing. Oh, and he should do this unilaterally, all while wingnuts and congressional enablers alike yammer incessantly that the President is so grievously, so treasonous-ly, so unconstitutionally over-stepping his executive commander-in-chief super-powers in every other way that he must be sued, impeached, or jailed — he must be stopped by any means necessary!

Small wonder the WH and the rest of the country didn’t fall for it, yet. But considering what a long shot it was, how kooky the rationale was even then, it’s amazing the hawks and the haters got as far as they did. A little more fear-mongering — ISIS is so evil and dangerous even Al Qaeda won’t work with them! — and they might have pulled it off. It’s scary to think back just a few weeks and see the public being taken for a ride, yet again, in the cab called hysteria; a few thousand thugs operating under disjointed command running through a desert overseen by legions of satellites, bombers, and drones, surrounded on all sides by unfriendly, highly trained armored ground forces backed up by ten trillion dollars in deadly defense manpower and technology, was almost enough to make us seriously consider being dragged back in. If a single crazed Muslim fundamentalist suicide bomber or a lucky hijacker from anywhere in the world had struck the US in May or June, who knows, maybe we’d have ground troops slogging through the burning sands of Iraq this very moment feeling deja vu all over again.

Rest assured, if instability causes oil prices to surge and gas above five or six bucks a gallon, we’ll see act two and act three and act aleph naught, enter stage left for another go. Because this play never, ever stops running.


  1. busterggi says

    Of course Iraq is confusing, why do you think the cons have switched almost completely to hate-bashing illegal immigrants again/

  2. says

    What republicans want Obama to do is very simple. It’s the exact opposite of whatever he is currently doing. And if he does what they were demanding he do yesterday, then today he must do the opposite of that. The republican party’s entire philosophy has becme distilled down into a pure, unadultered hatred for the Evil Kenyan Atheist Muslim Nazi Pinko Commie Usurper and everything he does is always wrong, no matter the circumstance.

    As far as Iraqi specifically goes, the one thing they don’t want is anything that might leave the impression that they are responsible for anything that happens there, now or in the future. That resembles governing too much for their tastes.

  3. Kevin Kehres says

    The answer is actually much simpler.

    Keep the oil flowing.

    As always, one should follow the money.

  4. says

    Thank you Greg at #4! Like MST3K, I’m a big fan of obscure references that only a few readers will appreciate.

    At #3, fair point. Energy is important to all and obsessed over by a few. If, for some inexplicable reason, we were looking at a world map with a hankering to occupy and doing so using the full power of reason, I can think of places that would make more sense than Iraq. Honduras for example. Not saying we should, only that there’s a better case in central America, i.e., it would be a geniune humanitarian gesture and could even offer tangible benefits to the US taxpayers footing the bill and shedding the blood.

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