Would you purchase a used war from one of these men?
Is this war really necessary?
After watching this war repeated over and over, so many things now seem familiar. Remember the bipartisan hype about Saddam’s “Weapons of Mass Destruction,” and how the proof of it could come from a mushroom cloud?
Compare to this:
But as President Obama prepares to send the United States on what could be a yearslong military campaign against the militant group, American intelligence agencies have concluded that it poses no immediate threat to the United States. Some officials and terrorism experts believe that the actual danger posed by ISIS has been distorted in hours of television punditry and alarmist statements by politicians, and that there has been little substantive public debate about the unintended consequences of expanding American military action in the Middle East.
Daniel Benjamin, who served as the State Department’s top counterterrorism adviser during Mr. Obama’s first term, said the public discussion about the ISIS threat has been a ‘farce,’ with ‘members of the cabinet and top military officers all over the place describing the threat in lurid terms that are not justified.’
With each successive administration’s military interventions in Iraq, the place seems to become increasingly unstable. After seeing the similar instability left behind in Libya, which is for most intents and purposes a failed state and the decline of Syria, it doesn’t instill much confidence in Mr. Obama’s similar proposed strategery for Operation Son of the Return of the Monster from the Land Between the Rivers.
As Andrew Bacevich put it in a recent post:
Destroying what Obama calls the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant won’t create an effective and legitimate Iraqi state. …
All the military power in the world won’t solve those problems. Obama knows that. Yet he is allowing himself to be drawn back into the very war that he once correctly denounced as stupid and unnecessary — mostly because he and his advisers don’t know what else to do. Bombing has become his administration’s default option.
Rudderless and without a compass, the American ship of state continues to drift, guns blazing.
This war is headed for failure
Why is it that President Obama is the fourth consecutive American president to declare wa…er, military action on Iraq? Why is it that Obama and the previous 3 presidents just can’t seem to get the job done there?
Consider this wisdom from Aristotle:
It is not enough to win a war; it is more important to organize the peace. — Aristotle
A century ago “peace” was organized in the Middle East by the colonial powers. Britain and France organized in a way that perpetuated their power and allowed them to loot the region. Their power was maintained by defeating any movement toward independence and self-determination by the people of the region – especially secular nationalist regimes. This article has an excellent summary of the history, including this:
In 1915, the imperial powers’ major goal in the Middle East was to smother any expression of Arab nationalism and prevent any unified resistance to the designs of Paris and London. …
The French put the minority Christians in charge of Lebanon to keep down the majority Sunnis and Shiites. They recruited the minority Alawite Shiites in Syria to head up the army that ruled over the majority Sunnis, while the British installed a Sunni king in Iraq to rule over the country’s majority Shiites. In Palestine the British used Zionism much as they were using Protestantism in Northern Ireland to keep down the native Catholic Irish and keep both communities divided. Communities ended up fighting one another rather than their imperial masters, which, of course, was the whole point of the matter. [...]
But chaos has always been an ally of imperialism. ‘The agenda has always been about imposing division and chaos on the Arab world,’ wrote long-time peace activist Tom Hayden. ‘In 1992, Bernard Lewis, a major Middle East expert, wrote that if the central power is sufficiently weakened, there is no real civil society to hold the polity together, no real sense of common identity…the state then disintegrates into a chaos of squabbling, feuding, fighting sects, tribes, regions, and parties.’ And that is just the kind of disintegration that foreign powers have sought to exploit.
As the years have passed in the century since the ascendant imperialist powers organized the peace, new western powers have risen to compete for dominion and resources in the region. Puppets, dictators and nationalist regimes have come and gone and representatives of various sects have strived for and acquired power, but the division of the Middle East created by the colonial powers has remained: