Email Message
This form does not yet contain any fields.
    The Will to Create

    Entries in Iraq War (7)


    Morning Joe 1/8/2013 -- What about Hagel?

    The Obama administration is expert at creating diversions to take heat off more important issues for which they should be made to answer. Benghazi is slipping out of the public's memory or concern. The fact the fiscal negotiations resulted in higher taxes and no real spending cuts is pushed to another showdown a few months away which Obama has already said he will not participate in.

    The nomination of Chuck Hagel to the Department of Defense is the latest diversion, and it's what the Morning Joe crew discussed this morning. The Left can't understand why McCain, who once praised Hagel, is now questioning him. The Left criticizes neocons for saying they will block the Hagel nomination. There are voices on the left, though, who are criticizing the Hagel nomination, but it's the Right's backlash which is condemned in the MSM. All the fuss is a distraction, because Hagel will do what Obama wants done. Some are pretending that Hagel is a non-interventionist, and that Obama can finally end the Afghanistan War like he has wanted to, and that Obama can now move America away from militarism/interventionism.

    I haven't seen any evidence that Hagel or Obama are non-interventionists. Obama voted against the Iraq War, but his history of interventions over the past 4 years shows that it was the Iraq War only that he opposed, not the doctrine of interventionism. Hagel voted for the Iraq War, then he turned against it when public opinion changed and it looked like the war might fall apart. Hagel is an ambitious politician who wants to show statesman like qualities by going against the Republican Party on issues that are easy to go against. I haven't heard or read Hagel criticize Obama on his drone policy, or criticize Obama for insane actions in Afghanistan as the soldiers we train there continue to turn on our soldiers. Hagel is no objective hero, he just shifts with the political winds.

    It doesn't matter if Hagel becomes Secretary of Defense -- actually, the more troublesome nomination is Brennan as head of the super-secretive CIA. Hagel will be an Obama-puppet. What matters is putting pressure on government to control the military/industrial policy and to develope a sane foreign policy, especially as it relates to the mideast. The sooner we leave the mideast, the better off America will be. With all the money we're wasting in the mideast, and on military bases protecting countries that should protect themselves, we can build defense systems superior to anything ever imagined, and we'd have enough left over to put back in the private sector so that real productive jobs are created.


    What did we gain from the Iraq War?

    It appears that Iraq hasn't changed much and that one dictator was removed while another was placed in power.

    The same can be said for Afghanistan and Pakistan, and every mideast country in which we intervene. To start the 21st century move toward peace and prosperity, let's first leave the mideast.


    Up with Chris Hayes 12/31/2011 -- Iraq

    On Up with Chris Hayes this morning Hayes' guests were Joe Sestak, Zainab Salbi, Phyllis Bennis and Matt Gallager and the subject was the Iraq War. Looking back at the Iraq War, the guests presented several perspectives, most of them making the claim that Iraq was a mistake. Matt Gallager served in Iraq, and his perspective was from a soldier following orders and doing the best he could under bad circumstances. Salbi is an Iraqi-American, and her perspective is from the people of Iraq and how the war affected Iraqis. Sestak bascially provided a diplomatic perspective, acknowledging that things should have been done differently. Bennis provided the perspective of anti-Bush, anti-unilateral action, anti- military ignorance of culture and such. There was a short discussion of the doctrine of preemptive attacks in the War on Terror.

    The basic consensus among the panel guests was that we need international coalitions and more UN involvement when we enter this type of war. This is the same mistake statists make at home regarding the issue of economic intervention and central planning -- if only we have a smarter government, technocrats will be able to more effectively broaden economic concerns and attain better results.

    The lesson from Iraq, from my perspective, is that we need a doctrine which states America defends herself from attack, but we don't occupy other countries and attempt nation-building. Iraq was not an immediate threat to the US, and neither was the country of Afghanistan. If we needed to invade Afghanistan to punish al Qaeda, then that could have ended in 6 months, and it's not clear that we couldn't have used small strike forces to deal with al Qaeda. As Bob Gates said, any advisor in the future who calls for large troop, ground occupation of another country in the mideast needs to have his/her head examined.

    It appears, from this panel's conclusions, that all we need in future interventions is a big coalition and UN approval. This is a bad reading of what was wrong with Iraq. We need a policy of non-interventionism, and as I wrote the other day, our foreign policy of intervention creates a chain of consequnces which call for more interventions, and before you know it, we're entangled in situations with no good way out. Including an international coalition will only complicate matters. Our military should protect our borders, and, beyond that, this military/industrial complex that's been created and thrown out into the world has to be reigned in or we'll have many Iraqs, and the results won't be any better just because other countries are involved in the interventions.

    We've wasted lives and treasure on both sides in the mideast wars, and all the consequences which our interventions have set in motion will be soon be revealed -- we need to know the truth and look at this unfolding with sober, critical thinking and a humble understanding of the limits we must place on American power. Yes, if we're attacked, we should use all necessary force to stop and punish the attackers, but we shouldn't occupy other nations and cause innocents to suffer. We're better than that.


    Iraq withdrawal -- Obama's missed opportunity

    This is an excerpt from Obama's North Carolina speech regarding the end of the Iraq War:

    Recalling the roadside bombs and sniper attacks of the insurgency, he said: "Everything that American troops have done in Iraq, all the fighting and dying, bleeding and building, training and partnering, has led us to this moment of success."

    "The war in Iraq will soon belong to history, and your service belongs to the ages," he added.

    Success is not the right word, although the military did an excellent job with the tasks they were given. It's become apparent that America's military is the best in the world. Most of us will never know what some of these men and women have gone through, and most of us couldn't withstand what they've withstood. History will decide whether this war was successful from a leadership perspective. The troops successfully carried out their commands, and that goes without question. But whether the war was a "success" depends on what our leaders hoped to accomplish. If removing Hussein from power was a goal, that was a success accomplished years ago. If making Iraq a stable ally in the region is a goal, then there's no success. Obama missed an opportunity to talk about the Iraq War in grown-up terms that address our confused and misguided foreign policy.

    I could be wrong, but I don't see any evidence that Iraq will approach anything close to stability, but that's not the fault of our troops. Our troops are good, but they could only do so much, and now they are gone. They should have been out of Iraq long ago, and I believe history will show they should've never been ordered into Iraq. I'm not a weak-kneed dove who always shies away from war. Sometimes war is necessary to protect a country's sovereignty and existence, and when war becomes necessary, it's good to have a military like America's military -- however, we weren't protecting our country through the war in Iraq, and if I said differently out of fear of being disrepectful to our military, I'd be dishonest, and our military deserves better. Perhaps it will be shown that our involvement in Iraq had other positive consequences, but Iraq was never going to attack America.

    What we can learn from Iraq is that such drawnout battles in the mideast are misuses of our military. It pains me to say this, because I personally know people who've sacrificed and suffered in Iraq, but,they also know that nothing much has been accomplished that will last. I've seriously considered all the justifications from Iraq War apologists, but these justifications are built on patriotic wishful thinking and not the reality. The movement in the mideast is toward consolidation of Islamist power, and although there are warring factions within Islam, and although there will likely be wars between factions in Iraq, the evolution is toward Islamist unity under the control of a central force which can make the mideast a force on the world stage comparable to Europe.

    The claim is made that the Iraqi people are better off without Saddam Hussein, and that is true for now -- as I said, though, that was accomplished long ago. It can be said that nation building allowed the Iraqis time to build an infrastructure to maintain sovereignty, but this is where I disagree. Iraq will likely fall under the control of Iran, and, depending on who's out of favor, it's not certain at all that many Iraqis will fair better than when under Hussein. It's also far from certain that the volatility from that region will be lessened because of the Iraq War. Furthermore, it's far from certain that our part is over.

    If Iraq unravels and Iran pushes its will on the country, there's a good chance that we'll re-enter Iraq, even if with a reduced number of troops. Obama can't afford to let Iraq implode, although he can't really afford to do much else, either, but the Generals will think of something. Here's an unfriendly article that gives an idea of the anger that still exists over the Iraq War:

    I'm just glad our troops are coming home. Let's keep them from going back. It's a no win situation.


    The ongoing Iraq War bog-down

    The American anti-war movement is a complete sham. If we continuea military presence in Iraq after the end of the year, all Republican candidates need to pledge they will end this damn war and bring all our troops home. Enough is a frigging enough. Sensible people need to take over and end this nightmare. This will unnecessarily put young men and women at risk for no good reason. We need to stop government misuse of the military.