In part 1, a look at Bush and Obama’s protection racket. Part 2 outlines the predictable effect and consequence of repeated destabilizing and counterproductive military action by the United States.
‘Compelling Strategic Interest’ — that’s what a Democratic legislator on CNN called the outset of the ‘humanitarian’ buildup of military forces in Iraq this summer. It was the slippery slope of an ‘expanding mission’ in Iraq; now Congress is lined up like sheep to give their vote of approval for continuing the new administration’s old military mission there. We’re just a few Democratic votes away from an enabling complicity.
It’s a fool’s venture, complete with self-perpetuating violence to draw more and more combatants to the cause of opposing America there. We’re in Iraq for good this time.
The vast majority of Americans never had to sacrifice a thing for Bush’s wars. Opposing it was to oppose Bush, anti-war was just a political abstraction. There was mass slaughter of Iraqis — and American journalists died, as well, in Bush’s Iraq war. Still we called on him to just end it. Not this time around, though. Where’s the anti-war principle? Where are the anti-war values? Where did those voices go?
Does the name Michael Kelly mean anything to anyone? Steven Vincent? What about Terence Lloyd? Paul Douglas? Or even José Couso? Look these journalists’ names up sometime.
The vast majority of Democrats who opposed Bush’s folly will sacrifice even less now that they’ve shed their political nemesis and are free to cheer war on like proper patriots under their leader of choice.
In the face of the relative quiet against this administration’s warring in Iraq, ‘antiwar’ seems now like a game some played against Bush. Most of the anti-war sentiment is drowned out with shallow appeals to support this Democratic president in one ‘humanitarian’ exercise of our military after the next.
I trusted him — damn right I did. I trusted him to get us out of Iraq and keep us out. Damn right I did.
Tell me that I can’t possibly be serious about opposing war in Iraq … why, we’re just having a little war, a few airstrikes! Ridicule me some more. How can you be so angry? It’s just a few airstrikes against evil fundamentalists.
Who could possibly object? You’ve really changed! You never supported him. You’ve gone off the deep end!
Supporters of this new mission in Iraq are either hopelessly naive and clueless about the consequences of this action or they’re complicit with every nod of approval and every cheer they make for military strikes. We’re never going to leave Iraq this time around. There’s ALWAYS going to be some atrocity which draws the ignorant and the zealous in and has them cheering in approval for more. That’s how war goes. Learn it, because we’re going to have to live with it.
There are ‘boots on the ground’ right now. I frankly believe that claiming or accepting the nonsense that there aren’t is an insult to the troops already there. Supporters? Come out from behind the rhetoric that the politicians are crafting to excuse and justify war in Iraq and and admit that behind all of the strident talk about defeating this latest group of insurgents is a deliberate lure that’s now snagged our nation and yanked us back into the same folly we fought so hard to get out of.
It’s the terrorists’ design — it was the bin-Laden gang’s design — get the U.S. close enough so they can zero in on us and get on with their jihad, their holy war against the ‘Great Satan.’ They’ve told us this; our government and military knew this going in.
The military isn’t somehow caught off-guard by the horrible violence springing up from these Islamic combatants. Defeating them is a delusion the military has had since they first crafted their ‘evil axis’ patter to jazz Americans into letting them try their new weapons out, since they first worked Americans up into letting them explode their bombs on ‘evil ones’ and ‘enemies.’
We’re just targets in Iraq now and our politicians will supply all the troops and money as the terrorists provide the atrocities for pretext. We never learn. All of the promises to stay away from ‘dumb wars’ and nonsense about ‘just war’ were either ignorant or a deception. Take your pick.
We should never have returned troops to Iraq. The hawks are dupes for the combatants’ violent bait. We should know better, but I can see that we don’t. Anytime folks are ready to stand up and say ‘enough’ to this ‘dumb’ warring, I’ll be here to lend my voice. There no such thing as limited strikes, limited war. We’re going to find out the hard way.
We used to understand, progressives here and elsewhere who are glossing this U.S. military response to the humanitarian crisis atop that mountain in northern Iraq. Glossing over the fact we should know well, that our military presence and action in Iraq is an irresistible lure for individuals looking to do battle with America; in this case, individuals who view America as an enemy of their religion.
Now there are these U.S. government surrogates who can’t find any more principle than defending the political establishment, hurling insults at those with values enough to oppose U.S. military intervention, no matter what the politics dictates.
Thousands of people in the streets when an Iraq invasion and occupation was just a twinkle in Bush’s eye. Now you can’t get a quorum of Democrats or government supporters to even talk about it, save to lecture us that the politicians know best … and they wonder why people turn away from the politics, why many reject it as an organizing principle for important dissent against government.
First comes the ridicule, blind faith, and then outright indifference.
What doesn’t seem to be understood by progressives who are rightly concerned about the safety of the Kurdish civilians and other refugees fleeing the ISIS forces’ terror attacks is that the U.S. military assaults in the region — our country’s military presence and activities — are ultimately counterproductive to the goals of eliminating any threat that comes from the fundamentalist groups fomenting violence in Iraq or anywhere else, for that matter.
Opposition to U.S. military action in Iraq goes deeper than just advocating non-violence, which is likely not the solution to protecting the Kurdish men, women, and children trapped and besieged where they fled by the self-identified Islamic insurgents. It’s an opposition to exactly the same ‘dumb-war’ behavior that President Obama correctly described early in his presidency. It’s the misguided notion that the U.S. is indispensable in these matters.
It’s the twisted logic that ‘we broke it,’ therefore, we have to fix it. Except, fixing it means to this administration and military — as it meant to the Bush administration and military — fomenting even more violence in the vain and hopeless aim of ending it.
It’s not a matter of just leaving people to die, as many describe the position of opponents of U.S. military intervention. Other nations are more suited to help them and we should use our energy and whatever influence we have to encourage them.
The U.S. military isn’t a benevolent entity; it’s a self-serving, pernicious one whose ambitions and goals have everything to do with the preservation and projection of American power and influence and almost nothing to do with the altruistic endeavors they use to justify getting their military foot in the door.
It’s about the realization that our country, having already broken Iraq with our destabilizing, destructive, and opportunistic war waged for greed and petty political purposes, can scarcely hope to repair it using the same destabilizing and destructive violence.
As Bush’s own spy agencies correctly cautioned in their intelligence estimate, our military activity in Iraq had the effect of fostering and fueling even more individuals bent on violent resistance to U.S., our allies, and our interests, than they were able to put down.
The intelligence report, completed in April 2006, was the first formal appraisal of global terrorism by U.S. intelligence agencies since the Iraq war had begun. It represented a consensus view of the 16 disparate spy services inside government. Titled “Trends in Global Terrorism: Implications for the United States,” it asserted that Islamic radicalism, rather than being in retreat, had metastasized and spread across the globe.
An opening section of the report, “Indicators of the Spread of the Global Jihadist Movement,” cited the Iraq war as a reason for the diffusion of jihad ideology.
It should be no surprise at all to see the report a few months back, this year, from this current President’s intelligence agencies that our military presence and activity in Iraq — however altruistic the mission — is having the exact same effect of drawing more individuals looking to do battle with our nation, from around the globe, to rally to this emerging insurgent group’s deadly cause.
“U.S. spy agencies have begun to see groups of fighters abandoning al-Qaida affiliates in Yemen and Africa to join the rival Islamist organization that has seized territory in Iraq and Syria and been targeted in American airstrikes,” U.S. officials said in August.
If you just take Pres. Obama’s decision to send U.S. military advisers to assist Iraqis in directing attacks against Iraqi targets, and subsequently ordering full-on airstrikes, you can see the folly rising, yet again, where our military interference is just going to be a recruiting tool for whatever forces are resisting that Potemkin of democracy in Baghdad. The predictable effect will be the U.S. ownership, in Iraqi eyes, of any objectionable assault we had a hand in which kills innocent members of that country’s population.
Anyone who believes that the U.S. and the other military forces operating in the region can precisely target just the bad guys and leave the innocent populations safe hasn’t been watching the Iraqi regime as it’s deployed its military force against rival population centers. This isn’t something that our military has any business enabling and I don’t believe the President is being realistic about the dangerous blowback to Iraqis and others that is inevitable from our military interference.
Whether we acted out of charity or vigilantism, our invasion and occupation in Iraq forfeited any moral authority we may believe we had which would distinguish us in the minds of many Iraqis — and many individuals around the world — from those who associate their religion with the twisted and contradictory fundamentalism promoted by groups like ISIS/ISIL or al-Qaida.
We may well feel this is our fight or our responsibility to step in and rescue the Kurdish civilians and others, but we are unable to do so with our nation’s military without fomenting even more reprisals and even more bloodshed after we’ve landed our warplanes and steered our combat carriers toward home. There’s nothing at all charitable or altruistic in any of that.
Is there any more convincing measure of the folly of supporting this than the very fact that nothing our forces have done so far has caused the military to assert that we’re making any progress at all in putting down what they first called a “rag-tag handful of insurgents?” Don’t tell me that more troops are the answer, that more bombings is the answer. Did a full scale occupation under Bush protect and defend civilians there any better?
Did we miss the horror of civilian killings under Bush’s occupying troops under Bush, all with orders to attack and kill opponents at will? Did we miss the Iraqi family members who lined the river every day to watch the steady flow of dead and bloated bodies in the sad and awful expectation that they could identify one as their own kin?
Is there any more proof of the utter ignorance of a unilateral, escalated U.S. deployment than the virtual silence from the vast majority of the former ‘coalition of willing’ partners in our opportunistic imperialism?
Some people are convinced the U.S. can wage limited war … just like the President was convinced in Afghanistan that if he split the difference between what his Bush hawks nested in the Pentagon were advocating and his delusion that his own political instinct is left of center that he’d produce a moderate war. He ended up presiding over the killing of more of our troops defending the politics of Karzai than Bush lost exacting revenge for 9-11. 575 US troops died in Afghanistan during the Bush presidency. Over 1500 US troops died there under Pres. Obama. That’s a sad and disturbing legacy for a president who was elected to office proclaiming his aversion to ‘dumb wars.’
Don’t give me guff about not caring about the violence perpetrated from these Iraqi insurgents. There is no amount of troops, airstrikes, or any other attacks which will end the cycle of violence. All we can end is our ignorant and gullible part in it. Yes, I’ve heard the terrorists’ cynical demands for the U.S. to stop the airstrikes. Yet, like any hostage taker, there isn’t any regard at all for the human lives that they lure into their web of violence.
They don’t want us to stop. They never want us to stop warring there. Iraq is the holy caliphate; the land where they fight Americans for their delusions of blessed victory over the infidels.
We never learn.
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