Friday, November 27, 2015

Don't Blame Obama For Bush's Iraq Hangover

UPDATE VIII:  "It was not so much the invasion [of Iraq] itself, however, as the policies implemented afterward that are mainly to blame for Iraq and Syria lying in pieces. What President George W. Bush’s administration did was to foster sectarian divisions and create a long-lasting insurgency.

At every point along the way, the Bush administration made choices that exacerbated sectarian tensions in Iraq and set the country on the path to break-up. The assertion by some observers that the country is riven by age-old hatreds, is ahistorical and incorrect. In previous decades, political passions centered on anti-colonialism or big landlordism and socialism. The vacuum of power created by the U.S. dissolution of the secular Baath Party encouraged Iraqi politicians to play on sectarian passions in unprecedented ways. Provoking a violent insurgency was likewise fateful. Once an insurgency comes into being, it typically does not subside for 10 to 15 years."

Read the Washington Post, How the United States helped create the Islamic State

UPDATE VII:  "The former veep's record is marked by false claims, erroneous predictions, and catastrophic results. Now he's urging more wars. Has his audience learned its lesson?

Read The Atlantic, The Farce of Dick Cheney Giving Foreign-Policy Advice.

UPDATE VI:  "Why should we fight the inevitable break-up of Iraq?"

Read The Atlantic, The New Map of the Middle East, which notes "the imperial hubris that motivated the Sykes-Picot division of the Middle East by the British and French. . . . The makers of the modern Middle East roped together peoples of different ethnicities and faiths (or streams of the same faith) in what were meant to be modern, multicultural, and multi-confessional states. It is an understatement to say that the Middle East isn’t the sort of place where this kind of experiment has been shown to work. (I’m thinking of you, one-staters, by the way.) I don’t think it is worth American money, or certainly American lives, to keep Iraq a unitary state. It is, of course, important to invest in plans that forestall the creation of permanent jihadist safe havens, and about this the U.S. should be vigilant, more vigilant than it has been. But Westphalian obsessiveness—Iraq must stay together because it must stay together—just doesn’t seem wise."

UPDATE V:  "Maliki’s primary goal to be protecting his own rule rather than combating existential threats to the security of Iraq. . .

[A]uthoritarian rulers—and Maliki is clearly at least headed in that direction—often prefer not to have a strong and professionally organized military. As Hosni Mubarak learned a few years ago, strong militaries can turn on you when the going gets tough. But such 'coup-proofing' obviously comes at the expense of the military’s preparedness for outside threats.

Read Slate, Iraq’s Built-to-Fail Military.  

UPDATE IV: Glenn "Beck was speaking about the war in Iraq on his radio program Tuesday when he made the statement, saying liberals knew over a decade ago that 'we shouldn’t nation-build, and there was no indication the people of Iraq had the will to be free.'

'I thought that was insulting at the time — everybody wants to be free,' Beck said. 'Let me lead with my mistakes. You are right. Liberals, you were right.'

Beck said he now sees that 'you cannot force democracy on the Iraqis or anybody else,' . . .

'Not one more life, not one more dollar, not one more airplane, not one more bullet, not one more Marine, not one more arm or leg or eye. Not one more.' As the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria threatens to overtake Baghdad, Beck stood firmly against sending thousands of American troops back into the country.

'The only way to prevent Baghdad from being overrun is stay there and continue to fight this, militarily, in perpetuity,' Beck said. 'Are you willing to do that?'"

Read The Blaze, What Glenn Beck Admitted About the Iraq War That Has the Huffington Post and ‘The View’ Talking.

UPDATE III:  There were many lies by Chickenhawks Bush and Cheney leading to the invasion and occupation of Iraq. 

The one I remember best is when Chickenhawk Cheney leaked false intelligence about aluminum tubes to the New York Times, then on the day the article was published, he made an appearance on Meet the Press, and citing the NYT article, claimed "that Iraq had been procuring aluminum tubes to use in an enrichment process designed to yield fuel for nuclear weapons." 

UPDATE II: Chickenhawk Cheney (you remember him, he did everything humanly possible -- short of fleeing to Canada -- to avoid military conscription during Vietnam) and his daughter wrote op-ed in the Wall Street Journal lamenting the state of affairs in Iraq.

"The Cheneys offer no discussion of the disastrous decision to invade Iraq in the first place (though they still surely believe the war was a great idea, they apparently realize most Americans don’t agree). But anything that happened afterward can only be Obama’s fault. . .

[T]he Cheneys’ op ed is silent on what they would do differently in Iraq today. The op-ed contains nothing even approaching a specific suggestion for what , other than to say that defeating terrorists 'will require a strategy — not a fantasy. It will require sustained difficult military, intelligence and diplomatic efforts — not empty misleading rhetoric. . .'

Watch closely as Republicans troop to the TV studios in the coming days, because they’ll be saying much the same thing. They won’t bring up what a disaster the war was; they’ll hope you forget that they supported it, and they won’t mention that it was Bush who signed the agreement to remove all the troops from Iraq. They will say almost nothing about what they would do differently now, other than to say we have to be “strong” and “send the right message” to the terrorists.

When it comes to being wrong about Iraq, Dick Cheney has been in a class by himself. It was Cheney who said, 'Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction. There is no doubt he is amassing them to use against our friends, against our allies, and against us.'

It was Cheney who said: 'it’s been pretty well confirmed' that 9/11 hijacker Mohammed Atta 'did go to Prague and he did meet with a senior official of the Iraqi intelligence service.'

It was Cheney who said: 'we do know, with absolute certainty, that [Saddam Hussein] is using his procurement system to acquire the equipment he needs in order to enrich uranium to build a nuclear weapon'

It was Cheney who said in 2005: 'I think they’re in the last throes, if you will, of the insurgency.'

All those things, and many more, were false. There is not a single person in America — not Bill Kristol, not Paul Wolfowitz, not Don Rumsfeld, no pundit, not even President Bush himself — who has been more wrong and more shamelessly dishonest on the topic of Iraq than Dick Cheney.

And now, as the cascade of misery and death and chaos he did so much to unleash rages anew, Cheney has the unadulterated gall to come before the country and tell us that it’s all someone else’s fault, and if we would only listen to him then we could keep America safe forever. How dumb would we have to be to listen? "

Read the Washington Post, Maybe listening to Dick Cheney on Iraq isn’t a good idea.


Don't let Republi-cons kill more American soldiers for their delusions of democracy in the Middle East!

"Eleven years ago, we invaded Iraq, deposed its government, and disbanded its army. Then we tried to build the country back up. We kept troops there for years, policing sectarian violence, facilitating elections, and training new security forces. Three years ago, President Obama offered to extend the “status of forces” agreement under which some of our troops would stay there with Iraq’s approval. Iraq’s prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki, didn’t accept the deal.

Everyone told Maliki that to keep his country together and peaceful, he had to build relationships with Iraq’s Sunnis and Kurds. As Slate’s Fred Kaplan explains, Maliki ignored the advice. He didn’t just neglect the Sunnis. He mistreated and alienated them. That’s a big reason why a Sunni extremist group, known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, now controls much of Iraq’s territory and is advancing on Baghdad. . .

For nearly a decade, we tried to manage Iraq. What we got was dysfunction. Maybe it’s time to let Iraq learn to manage itself."

Read Slate, Don’t Save Iraq.

Also watch the "the old gang of warmongers gets back together to voice their opinions on the crisis."

Watch The Daily Show, Mess O'Potamia - Now That's What I Call Being Completely F**king Wrong About Iraq: