Thursday, June 19, 2014

163.9 - Iraq: No! and Why?

Iraq: No! and Why?

Okay - this will be the last thing for this week. It may surprise you, but I am not going to spend a lot of time talking about Iraq. That is, not this week.

But with the news that nearly 300 armed American forces are being positioned in and around Iraq to help secure US assets in the area and our Nobel Peace Prize President is supposed to be considering everything from airstrikes to inserting Special Forces units, and the media is chock-a-block with right-wingers giving advice that always revolves around "do something" without, usually, being particularly specific about what that something is and I swear John McCain must have a special cot set aside for him at the Meet the Press studio, he's there so much - but in the face of all this, I have just two things to say. The first is to Barack Obama:

Mr. President, don't! Just don't. Don't do the bombing. Don't send in Special Forces, even just as "advisers." The idea that you are going to solve a conflict that has quite literally gone on for more than a thousand years with a few bombs or some Special Forces is ludicrous. And please do realize that all those news stories about Iraq "teetering" or "on the brink" of civil war have it wrong: Iraq is and has been in a civil war ever since we invaded. It never ended, it just cooled off some for a time. We might, as we did at the cost of such bloodshed in the years before withdrawal, suppress the conflict - but we won't stop it. Please please please do not repeat the stupidity of 2003.

Speaking of 2003, that's the other thing I wanted to raise. All over the media, we are seeing familiar faces. Sen. John McCain, who never saw a war he couldn't propose sending US forces into. His BFF Sen. Lindsey Graham. Douglas Feith, former undersecretary of defense for policy in the Bush administration and one of the architects of the Iraq war.

Paul Bremer, who as U.S. presidential envoy to Iraq after the invasion, disbanded the Iraqi army, a critical blunder that was followed by sectarian violence that has declined but has never stopped since.

Former Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, who pushed for the Iraq invasion soon after 9/11, an attack with which Iraq had no connection, and was the man who told Congress that Iraq could "finance its own reconstruction" with "oil revenues."

Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol, one of the most influential media figures to have promoted the war. Even former NY Times reporter Judith Miller, whose credulous reporting during the run-up to the war become synonymous with the media's astonishing failure, who recently appeared on Fox News to, yes, criticize media coverage of Iraq.

So here's the question: Why are we listening to these people? Why are the people whose hubris, stupidity, and avarice were responsible for the political, economic, and most importantly humanitarian disaster that was our invasion of Iraq, why are they now being asked to pontificate on Iraq today?

Why are we listening to these people?

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