And What, Exactly, Was Accomplished?

From Album 5

In non-Eric Cantor news, welcome to Iraq 2.0, Beta Versionnot exactly a model of stability. While the Obama Administration so far has turned down Iraqi requests for air strikes, it underscores the weakness of the present government and the general mess the whole "bring it on" (audio/video link) concept, um, brought on. 

Gee, I thought this was going to be a brief war that would "pay for itself." In fact, the more I look at it, the more I think that, aside from the strategic considerations, the whole sordid business was little more than a way for rabid conservatives to tell libruls and progressives where to stick it…with US military personnel and the Iraqi people themselves merely props in their grand, and ugly — and lethal — scheme. 

But when you play with fire, side effects can include burns…and that's what we're seeing as radical militants — the inevitable result of policies that promote instability and the breakdown of civil society (remember when the Repugs painted their fingers purple to celebrate Iraqi "democracy?" — well, they don't remember either), anyway, policies that promote instability have resulted in radical militants throughout the region taking advantage of this instability. 

It's going to be messy — and expensive. Really expensive. 

12 thoughts on “And What, Exactly, Was Accomplished?

  1. Ah, well, all of this should have been anticipated from the moment the Bush administration didn’t come down hard on our Saudi “allies” for 9/11 and then pursued the “deBathification” of Iraq.
    It was like opening the door for fundamentalist groups once we were gone, and if I were only slightly more cynical than I am already, I’d say it’s an ongoing chapter in The Shock Doctrine, wherein the foreign policy establishment of the U.S., the Saudis and the oil companies are all working together to take advantage of the chaos. The Iraq war turned out pretty much the opposite of the way the foreign policy hawks wanted, the Shiite government that came to power didn’t completely bend over for the oil companies and has been buddy-buddy with the Iranian mullahs, not to mention that the Saudis are running out of light sweet crude and would love to have a compliant Wahhabi Wacko government in Iraq that owes them for all the arms and petrodollars that have made an overthrow possible (and the Saudi royals are about as paranoid of the Iranians as the U.S. was of the Soviet Union, so, no surprise on that account, either). Of course there were going to be second and third acts to this play.

  2. I note sardonically that of all the voices yammering that the United States should Do Something, not a one of them seems too interested in how it’s to be paid for. Unlike anything the Democrats put forward, which has to be paid for two and three times over, preferably with punitive measures on the poors.

  3. “not interested in how it’s paid for…”
    Or who has to do it, and at what risk. I remember Dick Cheney shrugging off casualties, saying “well, they volunteered,” or words to that effect. God, what an asshole.

  4. And let us not forget that more recently, the hawks (such as McCain et al.) wanted us to bomb out the Syrian government.
    Even if I assume that the Syrian govt was responsible for all the gas agents, you bomb a stockpile of gas and you get a cloud that drifts over any nearby civilians. On the short term scale – bad move.
    But deposing the Syrian govt (even though I can’t think of anything good to say about them) would made Syria wide open to the same ISIS ultra-radicals that are causing havoc in Iraq. Talk about bringing on Armageddon.
    And may I draw a parallel between deposing the Syrian govt and that deposing Saddam Hussein removed the one person who had been able to hold the various factions in check ?

  5. Well…yeah, maplestreet. Not that I want to endorse despots, but, as I remember trying to tell family/friends that toppling Saddam Hussein was going to create a real mess sooner or later. In Iraq, the only people brave or crazy enough to oppose Hussein were likely to be, well, brave, crazy, or probably a bit of both…and the crazier ones, at least by the US/West’s definition, were likely to prevail…not unlike what happened in Iran.

  6. I always figured that the Iraq War was about making Iraq safe for Al Qaeda. Surely, there was no way it was going to get us lower oil prices or better oil concession deals. Maybe the Sunnis will put up a big statue of George W Bush.
    On the plus side, the folks running Iran are probably watching this warily. If things go badly for the Iraqi Shiites, the Persians can’t afford another Iraqi War.

  7. Us older folks remember this stuff. . . before it was South Vietnam.
    How long will it before the helicopters arrive?

  8. Yeah, I remember the purple fingers. You know what else I remember? I remember the “flypaper strategy,” where Rumsfeld said the American army in Iraq would attract all the world’s terrorists to one place where we could then blast them all to Kingdom Come and that would be the end of it. Well, that plan worked, except not in the way Rumsfeld thought it would (cue present war and ongoing societal breakdown). Of course, he would say that if we had just left our troops in-country we could be dealing with all these new terrorists, to which I would say, There aren’t enough troops in America and NATO combined to deal with all the terrorists your war has created so why don’t you just crawl back under your rock and fucking die, you foolish and evil motherfucker.

  9. What was accomplished? A massive transfer of wealth from the public coffers to a privileged few. Too cynical? It certainly wasn’t peace and stability to the region, or democracy to Iraq. I think finally you have always follow the money. . .

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