THEY'RE BACK – and they’re everywhere in the media! The architects and cheerleaders for the invasion of Iraq in 2003 – you know who they are; Bill Kristol, Robert Kagan, Paul Wolfowitz, Douglas Feith, Max Boot, Paul Bremer and the ever hopeful war booster John McCain – they are all coming out of the woodwork, screaming for another chance to prove the value of US intervention in the Middle East. “Let’s not re-litigate the past” they intone. Let’s look forward to more wars to re-arrange more hearts and minds in the region. The real disgrace is that these Neocon keyboard warriors are taken at all seriously and given respectable space in the media with absolutely no accountability for the rivers of blood on their hands. They belong in the dock, not on the editorial pages.
And now, of all people, former Vice President Dick Cheney and his daughter, Liz, took to the pages of the Wall Street Journal to laughably, shamelessly, claim credit for the Bush administration’s “victory” in Iraq and to criticize President Obama for the current situation. Like some shambling undead zombie, Cheney is back to blame Obama for frittering it all away through reluctance to commit more troops and more treasure to a failed Neocon project in the Middle East. On Wednesday, said the devil and his spawn: “Rarely has a U.S. president been so wrong about so much at the expense of so many.” No, not Bush, Obama!The rest of establishment opinion on Iraq ranges from oil industry mouthpieces such as Bush family consigliere James Baker -- who argues for restraint in Iraq but takes the opportunity to promote energy development, more pipelines and fewer environmental restrictions (along with a nod to the supposed US “debt crisis) – to Congressional Democrats who are mostly lining up with the President. Only Libertarian Republicans like Rand Paul are, like the anti-war movement, speaking out against Iraq intervention..
Meanwhile, the latest consensus among the “serious people” people in Washington is that “we” somehow have to get rid of the government of Iraq, whose election our occupying troops first oversaw -- and which then was chosen twice more by a majority of Iraqis, most recently just a couple of months ago. Allegedly, the current Iraqi prime minister – chosen by a majority of the elected parliament --is “too sectarian” (unlike our monarchical allies in the Arab Gulf states?) The only remaining unabashedly secular government in the region is the Assad regime in Syria, which our “friends” are doing everything in their power to replace by more of the same Sunni fundamentalists we are getting ready to battle in Iraq.
Repeat again: There was no “Al-Qaeda in Iraq” (or Syria) before our 2003 invasion, and the funding for the religious fanatics there comes from “our” allies Turkey and the Gulf petro-monarchies – Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, and others. Just like the “Freedom Fighters” in Afghanistan during the 1980’s, where Osama bin-Laden came to prominence with the backing of the CIA, the Saudis and Pakistan.
Maybe the real “Mission Accomplished” is the complete disintegration of the Arab and Muslim Middle East into warring factions that are too busy killing each other to pose a threat to our allies in Saudi Arabia and Israel. There’s a word for it in Arabic: “Fitna” (as in the cartoon above), meaning “the burning fire of civil strife.” Unfortunately, once lit, there is no telling – as 9/11 illustrated --where such fires will spread and how much damage they will do. And instead of working with Iraq’s neighbor Iran to stabilize the situation, the Gulf monarchies, the Israelis and their amen corner in the US are urging that we bomb them too. “Real men” still want to go to Tehran, not just stop at Baghdad. Characteristically, President Obama moved to placate the Republican demands for “action” in Iraq.