UNCATEGORIZED

Debacle

Jun 15, 2014, 5:34 PM | Updated: 5:34 pm

...

It’s no surprise that Iraq is disintegrating. The ethnic, religious and economic tensions that had always bubbled under the surface of the country were kept in check by the brutality of Saddam Hussein as they were (and in some cases still are) are by dictators in Iran, Egypt, Syria, Libya, Yugoslavia, the Soviet Union, and in much of Africa and South and Central America. Iraq’s current Shiite Prime Minister never made any serious efforts to include Sunnis in his government. Instead, he actively persecuted them in retribution for Saddam Hussein’s persecution of Shiites. And we failed miserably in laying a foundation for a stable, diverse Iraq.

Why did we invade Iraq in the first place? The intelligence about weapons of mass destruction was weak at best, and in one critical case, an outright lie. (Remember “Curveball”?) But a think tank called the Project for a New American Century had been banging the drum for “regime change” in Iraq since the Clinton Administration. When George W. Bush was elected, many PNAC members joined his administration, in positions of great influence, and they got what they wanted. What they didn’t do was plan for a post-Saddam Iraq. Their statements before and during the invasion show that they had no clue about what might happen when they lifted the cover on the pressure cooker. Vice President Dick Cheney, a signer of PNAC’s “Statement of Principles,” said “My belief is we will, in fact, be greeted as liberators.” For a few weeks, we were.

Then the looting broke out. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld gave a verbal shrug of his shoulders and said, “Stuff happens.” A month later, President Bush landed on an aircraft carrier that proudly displayed a huge banner that said, “Mission Accomplished.” A month after that, as attacks on U.S. and coalition troops mounted, Rumsfeld blamed a few “dead-enders.” Meanwhile, the Coalition Provisional government in Baghdad (really just an extension of the White House) was busy developing a flat tax system and private health care system for Iraq. (If you want to know how politically motivated and stunningly incompetent our occupation was, please read “Imperial Life in The Emerald City: Inside Iraq’s Green Zone”. For an equally depressing look at the military mistakes we made, read “Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq.”)

When the debacle finally officially ended in August of 2010, 4,487 American troops had been killed and 32,223 wounded. (66 more American troops who remained in Iraq to assist in training and other “non-combat” roles were killed.) By some estimates, the war may eventually cost six trillion dollars.

What did we get for our sacrifice of blood and treasure? Pictures of Islamic fundamentalists and terrorists supposedly worse than Al Qaeda driving toward Baghdad in American Humvees and tanks. Don’t tell me this is President Obama’s fault because we left too soon. It would have taken an occupation of a generation or more to for Iraq to have any chance at a stable, even moderately democratic future. I am thankful we have a president who isn’t quick on the trigger and has an appreciation for how difficult, even intractable, these situations are. You might not agree with all of his strategies and tactics, but no one’s going to write a book about an Obama military fiasco.

Uncategorized

...

Promotions

Dr. Jordan B. Peterson: We Who Wrestle with God Tour-NEW SHOW ADDED!

Register to win tickets to Dr Jordan Peterson's We Who Wrestle With God Tour, on May 14th at Arizona Financial Theatre

6 days ago

adunlap

Win Opening Day Tickets

Win D-backs Opening Day tickets for this Thursday!  Follow @Anthony987sport

22 days ago

...

Promotions

Tedeschi Trucks Band

Tedeschi Trucks Band is coming to Arizona Financial Theatre on June 11th! Register now for your chance to win tickets!

2 months ago

Axon Enterprise headquarters in Scottsdale. (Jim Poulin/Phoenix Business Journal)...

Ron Davis/Phoenix Business Journal

Axon’s north Scottsdale development comes under fire at planning commission meeting

Axon Enterprise Inc.'s mixed-use development plans in north Scottsdale were tabled Jan. 24 in the face of criticism from city commissioners and a standing-room only crowd.

3 months ago

(Pexels Photo)...

Associated Press

States have lost millions of dollars to fight and treat STDs

State and local health departments across the U.S found out in June they’d be losing the final two years of a $1 billion investment to strengthen the ranks of people who track and try to prevent sexually transmitted diseases — especially the rapid increase of syphilis cases.

6 months ago

Associated Press

How one swing-state county is trying to recover from high elections staff turnover

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. (AP) — The polls had just opened for last year’s midterms in Pennsylvania when the phones began ringing at the election office in Luzerne County. Polling places were running low on paper to print ballots. Volunteers were frustrated, and voters were getting agitated. Emily Cook, the office’s interim deputy director who had been […]

6 months ago

Sponsored Articles

...

COLLINS COMFORT MASTERS

Here are 5 things Arizona residents need to know about their HVAC system

It's warming back up in the Valley, which means it's time to think about your air conditioning system's preparedness for summer.

...

Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinics: transforming health care in the valley

Midwestern University, long a fixture of comprehensive health care education in the West Valley, is also a recognized leader in community health care.

...

Fiesta Bowl Foundation

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade is excitingly upon us

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade presented by Lerner & Rowe is upon us! The attraction honors Arizona and the history of the game.

Debacle