Bush Is Gone But President Obama Is Still Fixing The Damage Neo-Cons Did To Iraq

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It has been reported that prior to the American invasion of Iraq, then-Secretary of State Colin Powell told George W. Bush that if he breaks Iraq with a pre-emptive invasion, he would have to fix and pay for it. That was about eleven years ago and although Bush is long gone, and American combat forces are out of Iraq, President Obama is left to fix and pay for the Bush neo-cons actions that broke Iraq. It is beyond question that former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein was a tyrant, but he did preside over a relatively stable Iraq in a fairly stable region that Bush destabilized creating the conditions President Obama is dealing with now and it is precisely why he opposed the invasion of Iraq in the first place.

The President explained his opposition to the Iraq war when he said, “I know that even a successful war against Iraq will require a U.S. occupation of undetermined length, at undetermined cost, with undetermined consequences. I know that an invasion of Iraq without a clear rationale and without strong international support will only fan the flames of the Middle East, and encourage the worst, rather than best, impulses of the Arab world, and strengthen the recruitment arm of al-Qaida. I am not opposed to all wars. I’m opposed to dumb wars.” Interestingly, early into America’s war with Iraq, Syrian President Assad warned that America was destabilizing the entire region, and predicted Sunni Muslims fleeing the Iraqi Shia into Northern Syria would eventually destabilize and create havoc in his country. The rest, as they say, is history.

Now that disenfranchised Iraqi Sunnis joined forces with an al-Qaida affiliate and are on a crusade to create an Islamic caliphate, the President was forced to take action to protect Americans in Iraq and avert a genocide. In his weekly radio address the President said, “we’ve begun a humanitarian effort to help those Iraqi civilians trapped on that mountain. The terrorists that have taken over parts of Iraq have been especially brutal to religious minorities—rounding up families, executing men, enslaving women, and threatening the systematic destruction of an entire religious community, which would be genocide.” The President related an Iraqi citizen’s plea to the world for help and repeated again that “Today, America is helping.”

The President is right; America is helping protect Iraqi Christian and Yazidi devotees from ISIS terrorists intent on genocide because as a signatory to the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of GenocideThe Contracting Parties confirm that genocide, whether committed in time of peace or in time of war, is a crime under international law which they undertake to prevent and to punish.” It is why the President was careful to say that “We can act, carefully and responsibly, to prevent a potential act of genocide,” and that “As Commander-in-Chief, I will not allow the United States to be dragged into fighting another war in Iraq. American combat troops will not be returning to fight in Iraq, because there’s no American military solution to the larger crisis there.” There is never a solution, militarily or otherwise, to religious war that did not exist until America set in place conditions for one Islamist sect to dominate and chase another Islamic sect out of the government and the country with a valuable assist from America’s vaunted “surge.”

Republicans claim the reason the President is now having to take action in Iraq is because he failed to leave American troops in Iraq in perpetuity, but that is blatantly false. First, as the President explained yesterday, George W. Bush signed the Status of Forces agreement with Iraq to extract American combat forces, and second, the democratically-elected sovereign Iraqi government and people told Americans to get out and stay out; and who can blame them? There was no religious war when Saddam was in power, and for all intents and purposes Iraqi Christians, Sunnis, Shia, and Kurdish members of the Yazidi faith lived in relative peace; something America’s invasion and decade-long occupation destroyed both in Iraq and neighboring Syria.

The President is taking action because Bush sent troops to invade Iraq and overthrow Saddam Hussein that destabilized the country, and the region, with no plan whatsoever except to proclaim “Mission Accomplished.” The only thing Bush’s invasion accomplished was a decade-long occupation that allowed Iraqi Shia’s to chase Iraqi Sunnis out of the country into neighboring Syria. Now, those same Sunnis are part and parcel of the terrorists on a crusade to take back their country and commit genocide for religious non-compliance to their extremist Islamic cohort’s demands.

At first, one wondered why America is honoring its commitment to prevent and punish the crime of genocide in Northern Iraq, when it turns a blind eye when Muslims are slaughtered by “America’s ally.” It is likely because of the guilt that the threat of a genocide in Iraq is entirely America’s fault for invading and destabilizing Iraq in what President Obama accurately called “a dumb war.” As the President said, no amount of American military intervention is going to stabilize Iraq until there is a “substantial political change in Baghdad,” and there will be no political change because Bush warmongers allowed, and assisted, the Shia-led government to violently disenfranchise Iraqi Sunnis. Iraqi Sunnis, by the way, that are out for vengeance; particularly now that they joined forces with seriously extremist Islamic fundamentalists during their forced expatriation to Northern Syria.

At least the President is only willing to use air strikes to protect Americans and Kurds in the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan, and prevent a genocide against Christians and Yazidi people trapped on a mountain. There is no easy solution to the situation in Iraq, if there is a solution at all. It is worth repeating that there was no instability in Iraq, Syria, or the region until Bush lied to Americans and the world and launched a pre-emptive war to overthrow the one man that may have been a tyrant, but he was a tyrant that kept relative peace between the now warring religious factions. Religious factions that co-existed peacefully until George W. Bush destabilized the region and left a disaster Barack Obama is now having to deal with because of America’s “dumb war.”

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About

Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion. Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn't look good. Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.


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