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Iraq: The project that will not die

Open Carry extremists in Texas

Open Carry extremists in Texas

The first significant split I had with my brother happened over Iraq.  That’s because he was struck with temporary moronity  propagated by Fox News that trickled down to all of the other media outlets by what I suspect was a small evil group of psy-ops specialists.

It’s hard to be the only scientist in the family.  I’m sure I sounded like some unpleasant klaxon harshing the “let’s go kick some Haji ass!” mellow.  Everyone in America seemed to be on the same team.  There was no talking to them. There was no proof that there were WMDs in the desert.  There was no evidence for a nuclear weapons industry.  And you could be damn sure that if there was oil to be had there, it was going to be hoarded by the companies who went in there to get it.  That last one was a particularly difficult concept to get across.  They just didn’t understand WHY you would want to withhold oil from the global market.  It just sounded crazy.

So, now Iraq is falling apart and Obama wants to sit on the sidelines and let it happen.  In a way, that’s understandable.  It wasn’t his war.  He didn’t start it.  Also, he supposedly gave a speech about it that no one can find a record of.  And there’s that Nobel he needs to live up to.

But part of the responsibilities of being the leader of the free world is having to do some pretty unpleasant things.  I never thought that the president that took over from Bush in 2008 was going to be able to walk out of Iraq on the first day.  You don’t have to be a “war monger” to realize that stabilizing a country that has been deliberately de-stabilized by a bunch of ideological and greedy nut cases is a top priority.

But I get the feeling that the Obama campaign never got over its campaign mindset.  It’s been all about being the fricking cock-on-the-walk and controlling the foreign policy to the point of strangulation lest a political rival look good.  What followed was not a serious commitment to responsible behavior  but a couple of announcements that the war was over even though the country is still a chaotic mess.  I’m as disappointed with some of the pacifism at all costs people on the left as I am with the haji-kickers on the right.  Getting out of Iraq was never going to be easy and not laying the ground work for doing so carefully is going to hurt all of us.

For one thing, we can all expect gas prices to spike now.  Yep, it’s going to happen.  And if we are on a saddle point of plunging back into recession, this is certainly going to help that along.  When oil spikes, everything gets more expensive.  Poorer people are already wondering where they’re going to get the money to feed their kids.  Imagine how that’s going to go when the already high cost of food goes even higher.  How do you get to work?  What’s going to happen to the industries that rely on tourism?

But that’s a little selfish whining from some first world citizen, right?  I mean, how would you like to be a Kurd watching as the US prepares to screw you over again 30 years later?  Or any Iraqi really who lived through the last 10 years?  And if there weren’t religious extremists in the country 10 years ago, there sure are now because there is nothing that will create dangerous extremism better than instability and economic hardship.

There’s a warning there for Americans but we’ll probably be too distracted and hypnotized to realize what it is before it’s too late.

11 Responses

  1. When I see things like what’s happening in Iraq I have the most horrible thought. One that I dismiss right away because no one could have the philosophy, could they?

    What if one of the unspoken Obama foreign policy goals is to roll back everything George W did? If you were a friend, you are now considered an enemy and vice/verse. If you trusted the US, you will never do so again.

    As I said, I dismiss it and just say its amateur hour instead.

    • Let me make it absolutely clear in case I wasn’t before: george bush and dick Cheney were awful excuses for human beings and war criminals.
      I don’t think there’s a conspiracy to do Opposite Day in Iraq.
      No, instead, we have the extremely bad Bushies replaced by the worst president we ever had. I think history will prove me right. Obama is the worst because he and his buddies thought that a cult of personality was more effective than being ready and interested in the job.
      We will pay for that for generations.
      As for what he did in Iraq, I think it was his campaign’s goal to declare victory as quickly as possible before 2012 regardless of whether there was still hard work to do there.
      It’s a disaster. But I really detest the Bushies first.

  2. My world-view puts me on the side of peaceniks — But that’s not what I’m thinking about right now.

    You don’t have to be a “war monger” to realize that stabilizing a country that has been deliberately de-stabilized by a bunch of ideological and greedy nut cases is a top priority.

    Right now, I’m wondering what any American could do to stabilize Iraq. It seems our goal was to destabilize it and we were wildly successful. And is there anyone in the upper levels of our government committed to actually stabilizing any country?

    It seems to me that “our” plan for the world is war everywhere.

    That said ….

    What should we do to bring real stability to Iraq? Why should we be trusted with that job? And who would we trust?

  3. Against the advice of his Middle East allies, Bush the Lesser chose to get rid of Saddam Hussein, now stupid republicans are wondering why the other dominoes are toppling.

    As to our “we’ve always been at war with Eastasia” mindset that permeates Washington and Obama in particular, read this:

    http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/175854/tomgram%3A_engelhardt%2C_a_record_of_unparalleled_failure/

    • I read this yesterday — it’s VERY good.

      So here are five straightforward lessons — none acceptable in what passes for discussion and debate in this country — that could be drawn from that last half century of every kind of American warfare:

      1. No matter how you define American-style war or its goals, it doesn’t work. Ever.

      2. No matter how you pose the problems of our world, it doesn’t solve them. Never.

      3. No matter how often you cite the use of military force to “stabilize” or “protect” or “liberate” countries or regions, it is a destabilizing force.

      4. No matter how regularly you praise the American way of war and its “warriors,” the U.S. military is incapable of winning its wars.

      5. No matter how often American presidents claim that the U.S. military is “the finest fighting force in history,” the evidence is in: it isn’t.

      • Oh, I don’t know . . . our military won the initial battles of Iraq and Afghanistan. Then CheneyBush and their neocons through the victories away deliberately and on purpose. They replace Garner with
        whatsisname in leading the Iraq Occupation. They deliberately on purpose arranged bin Laden’s escape from Tora Bora ( as well as letting Pakistan rescue its many ISI agents who should have all been “taken” in Afganistan.) Then CheneyBush obstructed the old king Zahir Shah from returning to Afghanistan to begin the process of consultative counsels leading to an Afghanistan leader choice. Instead they maneuvered Karzai into power and brought back the whole warlord/druglord structure.

  4. I wasn’t aware that Fox News had trickled down the propaganda to America. Maybe that’s because I wasn’t watching Fox News. I know that the New York Times ran a massive pro-invasion infops campaign during the runup. Maybe the New York Times propaganda trickled down to Fox News.

    There is only one thing I can think of for America to do that would actually help the situation in Iraq. That would be to switch sides in Syria and join Russia/Iran/Hezbollah in supporting Assad to the total max. Help Assad to comprehensively exterminate every single jihadista in Syria. Help Assad regain complete control of Syria. Then
    help Syria and Hezbollah to move whatever forces they can spare to Iraq’s western border. Support Iran in backing Iraq’s Shia militias with whatever Iranian help is needed to retake ISISland and exterminate every single jihadi there. Meanwhile give the Kurds enough material support that neither side will dare attack them. When the jihadistas have been wiped out in comprehensive detail, let the remaining players solve the Iraq problem in their own way.

    And by the way, if enough Iraqis decide that Maliki’s Shia supremacism is what drove the Sunnis to accept the jihadists into their midst, then maybe those Iraqis will get together to solve their
    al Maliki problem.

  5. Another fine Mesopotamia you’ve got us into, Ali!

    2 words of wisdom for all y’all: Gertrude Bell. Never heard of her? You should look her up.

  6. Whether it’s Bosnia, Iraq, Libya, or Egypt, there are some countries that need a strongman to keep the peace.
    I know that’s profoundly un-neoliberal, but can anyone deny that the “Arab Spring” was an unmitigated disaster?
    And, Riverdaughter is right, Obama will go down-among the honest brokers-as one of the absolutely worst presidents.

    • More destructive than Bush younger. More evil than Nixon/Cheney together.

      But after Bush, we learned that ” the next President can always be worse. Always”.

  7. As so often the case with our polices I can’t tell if this is planned or a cluster F…

    I do know those groups who are seemingly taking over Iraq are the very same ones in Syria we have been calling “freedom fighters” and arming to the teeth for four years to take out strongman Assad.

    They are our mercenaries; given a shit load of sophisticated arms and billions by us . So perhaps they decided to ” screw the paycheck, we’ll just take the oil fields” ?? …or this is to cause a well spring to bring a Bush back?? (I can see the media trying to sell that ) Imposable to tell …But regardless of any of it , from the start Obama was groomed and programed to fail and yes fail this badly .That’s always been part of his mission and reason for being on the national stage. The powers that be are getting every wet dream they ever had via this guy

    As for Arab Spring . that was our initiative to take out the strong guys because we didn’t want to pay them anymore . We were going with a cheaper version of a collection of war lords and what not in our pay…how’s that working out?

    The trouble is our hair brained notions of world hegemony on a shoe string are cooked in plush think thanks by people who haven’t wiped themselves in years if ever.

    They have no idea what it takes to do stuff in the physical world. They have people for that . They themselves just move wooden pieces on the board and declare victory….They never see a blow back coming …and they are in charge! ..help

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