Iraq is in bad shape, being torn apart by sectarian violence, and it is going to get worse before it gets better – if it ever gets better. The sad truth – because we as a nation are culpable – is that there is nothing the United States can do now can make it better. The sad truth is that Iraq is in the shape it is today in because of what America has already done.
How, we must ask ourselves now, is how will doing again what we did before undo what we did before?
President George W. Bush’s criminal invasion in 2003 threw Iraq into chaos and his administration had no clear plans beyond toppling Saddam Hussein – unless you count plundering the country for all it was worth. That mission was accomplished very well.
We did not win there; indeed, we were lucky to get out after a decade of senseless fighting. Our purpose was ignoble from the beginning and the memory of the Iraq War does America no honor. And the Neocons want to go back and do it again- forever, if necessary.
Pat Robertson, in blaming President Bush for Iraq the other day, has shown himself to be more intelligent (or at least more honest) than,
- Karl Rove, who in 2011 claimed it wasn’t Bush who wanted to invade Iraq, that Congress pushed him into it;
- or Dick Cheney, who just the other day blamed Obama for misdeeds he knows perfectly well attach themselves to the administration of which he was a part;
- or Donald Rumsfeld, who has tried to glorify Bush’s misdeeds;
- or William Kristol, who blamed Obama for Bush’s signed agreement to pull out of Iraq.
Because somehow, in the Neocon mind, invading Iraq wasn’t the problem; leaving Iraq was.
Robertson, on the other hand, was correct in pointing out that George W. Bush is alone responsible for the current condition of Iraq. It doesn’t matter if Bush was a puppet or a puppet master. It was his watch and he was commander-in-chief.
Robertson gave it to Bush with both metaphorical barrels. Monday, on the 700 Club, Robertson said, “it was a great mistake to go in there.”
To sell the American people on Weapons of Mass Destruction, it was a lot of nonsense and we were sold a bill of goods.
We should have never gone into that country. As bad as Saddam Hussein was, he held those warring factions in check and he contained those radical Islamists.
Don’t be too quick to give Pat a pat on the back, however. Robertson is being less than forthcoming about his own support for Bush during the war. As Media Matters reports,
“On the December 7  edition of Christian Broadcasting Network’s The 700 Club, host Pat Robertson, founder of the Christian Coalition of America, said Democratic criticism of the Iraq war ‘amounts to treason’ and that ‘carping criticism … just doesn’t cut it'”:
ROBERTSON: We’ve won the war already, and for the Democrats to say we can’t win it — what kind of a statement is that? And furthermore, one of the fundamental principles we have in America is that the president is the commander in chief of the armed forces and attempts to undermine the commander in chief during time of war amounts to treason. I know we have an opportunity to express our points of view, but there is a time when we’re engaged in a combat situation that carping criticism against the commander in chief just doesn’t cut it. And I think that yes, we have freedom of speech — of course we do — but this has gone over the top and I think the Republicans are — well, they’ve taken advantage.
I guess the truth cuts it though, doesn’t it Pat, not that you’ll apologize now.
Then there is Glenn Beck of all people, who, if he did not exactly apologize, admitted those treasonous liberals were right all along.
Tuesday on his radio show, Beck said, “From the beginning, most people on the left were against going into Iraq. I wasn’t…. Liberals, you were right. We shouldn’t have.”
You have to look long and hard to find other conservatives who will even admit George W. Bush existed, let alone started the Iraq War – and on pretexts as flimsy as Hitler used to invade Poland in 1939.
Beck went on to say,
Not one more life. 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. This must end now. Now can’t we come together on that?
The facts are clear and they are beyond dispute, though not beyond the inevitable Republican obfuscation and dishonesty.
Coalition forces invaded Iraq on March 20, 2003. This was the grotesquely-named Operation Iraqi Freedom (timeline here), grotesque because what it was in reality was “Operation Neocons Get Rich Quick.”
Bush said at the time that “”helping Iraqis achieve a united, stable and free country will require our sustained commitment” but the only sustained commitment made was to plunder the Iraqi people.
Of course, then on May 1, 2003, he announced “Mission Accomplished,” which fails to explain the events of the past 11 years. In fact, the mission was so not accomplished that seven years later, in September 2010, it became Operation New Dawn.
Most particularly Bush’s alleged success in Iraq fails to explain the recent upswing in violence and the rise of Hussein loyalists and ISIS, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. There is a dispute over acronym (see here) but no dispute at all that ISIS/ISIL is the worst thing to happen to Iraq since George W. Bush and his Neocon carpetbagging friends.
Those responsible are undeniably and unarguably war criminals according to International law the United States once supported. And they want to go back to Iraq, and the media is more than willing to entertain their views on the bizarre premise that people who have shown they don’t know how to do something are the people to ask for advice.
As Justin Baragona wrote here Tuesday – and this will sound familiar to you since we did this already in 2003:
Basically, Kristol wants a bunch of US troops to go into Iraq to get into the middle of a civil war with no clear enemy or directive. In other words, create a bigger mess than it already is, and leave American blood on Iraqi soil.
And it worked so well last time! Ten years of war, without Obama’s 2008 win, could as easily have been 20. For Neocons – and for the mainstream media – it is 2003 all over again. No clear enemy. No clear directive.
Harry Reid says that all we need to hear from Dick Cheney is an apology for Iraq. That goes also for George W. Bush, Donald Rumsfeld and the rest of their Neocon friends, and it goes double for the mainstream media, which has with malice aforethought perpetuated their lies for the past decade and is more than eager to do so again.
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.