I was struck when I passed by a new stand this morning and saw what was on the front cover of the Detroit Free Press. The headline read: Heartbroken U.S. Vets Watch In Dismay As Sacrifices In Iraq Unravel.
The implication was clear: American soldier The Iraq War in order to provide the Iraqis with a peaceful stable democracy is now being thrown away. Something has gone wrong with U.S. policy, the headline implied, for the great gifts given by American soldiers through their sacrifices now to be followed by an Iraqi civil war in which nasty Muslim extremists are poised to take power.
The solution is also clearly implied by the headline: The American military must fix the situation again.
This interpretation of current events in Iraq is dominant in American news media. However, it ignores the relationship of the present violence in Iraq with the previous American military solution.
Did American soldiers make sacrifices during the Iraq war? Certainly, they did. However, there is little reason to believe that those sacrifices did much other than to set the present Civil War into motion.
Many American politicians are calling for new American intervention in Iraq. They have forgotten, however, that the present situation is the consequence of the previous military American intervention in Iraq. The present Iraqi regime, corrupt and on representative, was installed by the American military.
The Iraq War was a botched job from the start. It was not only poorly executed, but was based upon lies from the start. When people call for new U.S. military action in Iraq to prop up the current national government there, so that a political solution can be arrived at, they forget that this was the previous American plan, a plan that failed miserably.
What would be different this time? How would a America impose a new political solution? What would the exit strategy be this time?
For years, America’s own political system was twisted by the lies, immense spending, and colossal violence of the invasion and occupation of Iraq. The war crippled our economy and fractured our own democracy at the same time that it brought bloodshed within Iraq.
The last thing a Iraq needs is another American solution. An honest assessment cannot describe the situation in Iraq as unraveling, because it was never raveled in the first place.
The invasion of Iraq was a failure. The occupation of Iraq was a failure. The search was a failure. The veneer of a political solution to allow the American military to leave Iraq was a failure.
Why should we begin a new round of American military failure in Iraq? What makes it our place to impose another form of government there?
What we need is an intervention here in the United States, a political intervention by clearheaded citizens to call our own nation’s leadership, in Congress and in the 2016 presidential election. No politician who supported George W. Bush’s rush to invade Iraq, as Hillary Clinton did, should be entrusted with new political power. Neither should any politician who now calls for new American misadventures in Iraq receive our votes.