Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Do You Favor Sending Troops Into Iraq Again? Put A Sock In It


Although the TV networks seem certain that lots of war talk from the unprosecuted war criminals who lied us into the Iraq War on their networks last time, is good for ad revenue, the American people are unconvinced by the same old arguments being trotted out by the same out neocons and drooling spokesmen for the war profiteers.

And it isn't just Fox. CNN and even MSNBC have been a cavalcade of warmongers who should have been lined up against walls and shot years ago-- Paul Bremer, John Bolton, Paul Wolfowitz, Bill Kristol, Rove, McCain, Lindsey Graham... I think even Mitt Romney chirped in somewhere. Americans, however don't feel the same way these losers do. Not even Republicans. PPP released an extensive survey on Iraq this morning showing that "Americans strongly prefer President Obama’s approach to handling the situation in Iraq over that of NeoCon Republicans like John McCain, and that voters across party lines continue to be strongly opposed to sending combat troops to Iraq."
Only 20% of Americans think that the renewed fighting in Iraq is due to the United States withdrawing troops from the country before the job was done, whereas 67% think it’s more rooted in centuries of internal conflict that was exacerbated by the US invasion during the Bush administration.
Only 16% of Americans would support sending combat troops to help deal with the crisis in Iraq, compared to 74% who are opposed. There’s a bipartisan consensus on that issue with with Republicans (28/57), Democrats (10/86), and independents (9/86) all strongly opposed to sending combat troops.
Asked specifically whose vision they agreed with more about having US troops in Iraq between Obama (no troops under any circumstances) and John McCain (troops should have remained in Iraq after 2011), voters side with Obama by a 54/28 spread. In addition to Democrats strongly siding with Obama’s perspective, independents (53/28) and Republicans (49/30) do as well.
What a majority of Americans do support doing in Iraq is providing intelligence to the Iraqi government (56/30) and a major diplomatic initiative aimed at mobilizing the international community to stabilize the situation there (52/30). Both of those courses of action have support across party lines.

And speaking of impeachment, Ron Paul has a different president in mind when relating this story:
In 2006, I invited the late General Bill Odom to address my Thursday Congressional luncheon group. Gen. Odom, a former NSA director, called the Iraq war “the greatest strategic disaster in American history," and told the surprised audience that he could not understand why Congress had not impeached the president for pushing this disaster on the United States. History continues to prove the General’s assessment absolutely correct.

  In September, 2002, arguing against a US attack on Iraq, I said the following on the House Floor:
No credible evidence has been produced that Iraq has or is close to having nuclear weapons. No evidence exists to show that Iraq harbors al Qaeda terrorists. Quite to the contrary, experts on this region recognize Hussein as an enemy of the al Qaeda and a foe to Islamic fundamentalism.
Unfortunately, Congress did not listen.

As we know, last week the second largest city in Iraq, Mosul, fell to the al-Qaeda allied Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Last week an al-Qaeda that had not been in Iraq before our 2003 invasion threatened to move on the capitol, Baghdad, after it easily over-ran tens of thousands of Iraqi military troops.

The same foreign policy “experts” who lied us into the Iraq war are now telling us we must re-invade Iraq to deal with the disaster caused by their invasion! They cannot admit they were wrong about the invasion being a “cakewalk” that would pay for itself, so they want to blame last week’s events on the 2011 US withdrawal from Iraq. But the trouble started with the 2003 invasion itself, not the 2011 troop withdrawal. Anyone who understands cause and effect should understand this.

The Obama administration has said no option except for ground troops is off the table to help the Iraqi government in this crisis. We should not forget, however, that the administration does not consider Special Forces or the CIA to be “boots on the ground.” So we may well see Americans fighting in Iraq again.

It is also likely that the administration will begin shipping more weapons and other military equipment to the Iraqi army, in the hopes that they might be able to address the ISIS invasion themselves. After years of US training, costing as much as $20 billion, it is unlikely the Iraqi army is up to the task. Judging from the performance of the Iraqi military as the ISIS attacked, much of that money was wasted or stolen.

A big US government weapons transfer to Iraq will no doubt be favored by the US military-industrial complex, which stands to profit further from the Iraq meltdown. This move will also be favored by those in Washington who realize how politically unpopular a third US invasion of Iraq would be at home, but who want to “do something” in the face of the crisis. Shipping weapons may be an action short of war, but it usually leads to war. And as we have already seen in Iraq and Syria, very often these weapons fall into the hands of the al-Qaeda we are supposed to be fighting!

Because of the government’s foolish policy of foreign interventionism, the US is faced with two equally stupid choices: either pour in resources to prop up an Iraqi government that is a close ally with Iran, or throw our support in with al-Qaida in Iraq (as we have done in Syria). I say we must follow a third choice: ally with the American people and spend not one more dollar or one more life attempting to re-make the Middle East. Haven’t we have already done enough damage?

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At 11:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yup, sell them more weapons that can then be used against us when the inevitable happens and the current crop of corrupt Iraqi leaders flies off to France. Why? Because PROFIT!

Same as it ever was...

At 11:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

For the record, I was vehemently against sending troops into Iraq both times (Bushes) and also against the OTHER war crime (WJ Clinton's): the "economic sanctions" that killed at least ANOTHER million (half of them children).

I could never understand why, after Bush/Cheney clearly demonstrated on 9/11, at the very least, their sheer stupidity, if not criminal negligence, how the country then immediately followed their "excellent" plant for retaliation -- instead of demanding that they be arrested and tried appropriately.

As to throwing "our support in with al-Qaida in Iraq (as we have done in Syria)," I think you may have your connections crossed. The acronym for the new problem group stands for Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (i.e. Syria).

I think it is more likely that the current problem in Iraq is a result of our support of al-Qaida in Syria, proving that obama is at least as arrogantly stupid as Bush the Dumbest.

John Puma


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