The Iraq Crisis: The bitterness of Dick Cheney and the war-mongers

richard-dick-cheneyDick Cheney and the neo-conservatives are back to their old ways of lies and deceit. To solely blame the president for the disintegration of the coalition’s policy in Iraq since 2003 with open lies and neglecting his administration’s predominant responsibility for this fresh Iraqi  catastrophe is laughable as it is appalling. Nearly 5,000 U.S soldiers are dead, thousands more wounded alongside hundreds more coalition soldiers. They also take with them most importantly and tragically hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians, security and military forces.

Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz, Paul Bremer, Donald Rumsfeld, and Tony Blair thus far have either evaded responsibility for their failures or placed the atrocities and slaughter currently unfolding in Iraq squarely at the feet of Obama. Such actions are not only cowardly, but obscene.

This isn’t a defence of Obama.  Mistakes have been made by the Obama administration in relation to the Syrian crisis without question. The red-line incident, the controversy  surrounding the supplying of Syrian rebels, the use of drones, the NSA scandal as well as the EU and NATO’s inability to condemn the fascist elements in the pro-Western Ukrainian movement which, combined with Russian actions and pro-Russian movements, have left Ukraine unstable and in the midst of a new civil war.

Their weapons supplied to anti-Assad military forces have often fallen into the hands of  jihadist extremists courtesy of Saudi Arabia and Qatar. However Robert Scheer points out that it was very fortunate that Barack Obama in fact didn’t ‘succumb to his critics demands that he supply the insurgents in Syria with more sophisticated weaponry’ lest they be used against the pro-American Iraqi government.

(U.S. Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt jets, also known as the Warthog. File photo)
Are airstrikes the solution to urban warfare on the ground?

What some see as weakness on Obama’s part for failing to maintain the standard hegemony should be taken as a dose of realism. The use of military force is not necessarily always the correct solution to a civil war particularly one as volatile and complicated as Iraq even it were to be based on humanitarian principles.

American air strikes would reek bloody carnage on the Shiite [ISIS] forces, yet how effective would air-power be in urban fighting, hand to hand street fighting? How effective would air-strikes be if ISIS  consolidate and shore up their defences in Mosul and other captured towns? Indiscriminate carpet bombing, even precision bombing of Baghdad risks killing more civilians and Obama would be at the center of the fiasco rather than the 2003 class. Thugs of George W. Bush, Cheney,  Wolfowitz,  Kristol and Paul Bremer, have been given airtime on the U.S networks and space in the opinion pages to condemn President Obama for the current crisis in Iraq.

Dick Cheney

Cheney wrote that “rarely has a U.S. president been so wrong about so much at the expense of so many” in the Wall Street Journal, pointing the finger yet evading his responsibility of the quagmire.Yet it was amusing to hear Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid state “Being on the wrong side of Dick Cheney is being on the right side of history.

Note Cheney a leader prides himself on restraint, control, realistic outlook, and calculation not grand illusions, global ideologies of democracy and favoring military force over diplomatic means the last of your options in your article. Read a dictionary and realize that terrorism is a tactic not an ideology or state several of which you have inflamed. In-fact read a book on radical Islam, any book on the danger of using grand ideologies to supplement war whilst overlooking regional socio-political and religious issues that stretch back decades and centuries. America must co-exist with the world, not spread Western ‘democracy’ at the edge of a sword. That is the reality and the Americans cannot control the upheaval in the Middle East in the wake of the Arab Spring.

The hawks, christian right and neo-conservative pundits and politicians are as wrong now as  they were when promoting the Iraq War back in 2003 under the trumped-up assumptions that Saddam Hussein was harboring members of Al-Qaeda, linked to the destruction of the World Trade Center, and possessing Weapons of Mass Destruction. Did I forget to mention that 15 of the 19 hijackers came from Saudi Arabia, not Iraq or Afghanistan?

It was Bush who decided in 2008 under the Status of Forces agreement with Iraq government that  US combat troops would depart 2011. Obama oversaw the last steps of a failed policy in Iraq and unfortunately the remnants of a now redundant policy of American exceptionalism, neo-conservatism, and stark militarism that has affected the liberties of those at home and abroad has latched on to Obama like a disease. It threatens to contaminate him.

Donald Rumsfeld. Former Secretary of Defence
Donald Rumsfeld. Former Secretary of Defence

He has inherited the mistakes of an administration that inadequately addressed both the Great Recession and destroyed the United States’ future abroad. Rumsfeld (Secretary of Defence) resignation was due to, according American generals, of gross strategic incompetence and military planning. He also supported the enhanced interegation techniques created by John Yoo (Deputy Assistant U.S. Attorney General in the Office of the Legal Council Department of Justice) whilst Paul Wolfowitz according to American professor and historian Andrew Bacevich was the key to the Bush Doctrine’s creation.

“Although none of the hijackers were Iraqi, within days of 9/11 you were promoting military action against Iraq. Critics have chalked this up to your supposed obsession with Saddam. The criticism is misplaced. The scale of your ambitions was vastly greater….to unshackle American power.”

Obama has made mistakes and he is struggling to contain militarists and interventionists such as Donald Kagan (who claims that Super Powers don’t retire).  Iraq is their Vietnam and 17% of the U.S’s debt is partly attributable to the cost of the Iraq War initiated by Bush according to International Spectator.

bush-20060911

The PATRIOT Act was the beginning of a series of events that have only served to perhaps irrevocably harm the United States’ image and most importantly foreign civilians, their own civilians and soldiers. Nearly 7,000 U.S soldiers have been killed in the Global War on Terror, nearly eight times more wounded whilst hundreds of thousands suffered from post traumatic stress disorder. Nearly 20,000 Afghanistan civilians are dead and over 100,000 were left dead as a consequence of the American/British occupation in Iraq.

Tojo was hung in 1948 for Count 1: waging wars of aggression, and war or wars in violation of international law and Count 54: ordering, authorizing, and permitting inhumane treatment of Prisoners of War. Pardon me but don’t the crimes of the many within the Bush administration fall under these categories? No wonder Putin can act with impunity on Crimea.

793a9-iraqwar6

These men spit in the face of the dead, maimed, and psychologically scarred of the conflict and not just of the American military but others across the globe. They have waged war on the American ideals and reduced the American constitution to a dead letter. The worst thing is they don’t care and this is the gulf between world of American elitists and politicians and the American people. They insult the ideals of America, they insult the American military, they insult Obama openly (a partisan hijack and tasteless), and they continue to smear their own reputations as they stand on mounds of dead Iraqi’s whilst possessing (just like in 2003) little if no understanding of the enemy we are fighting and why the enemy fight.

These politicians are the epitome of what is wrong with American politics at this moment in time and whether or not you are a Democrat or a Republican the criminals inside the Bush administration instead of holding high positions in American society should be cast out and held accountable for war crimes, wasting trillions of dollars on what can be best be described as war-mongering imperialism, and spiting the reputation of the United States. The injustice is infuriating as it is harrowing and summed up neatly by Tom Hayden:

Anti-war voices need to be amplified to help Obama stave off the most irrational forces during this crisis. We need to construct a narrative that blocks the hawks from blaming Obama for “losing” Iraq, and turns the focus on the neo-conservatives, Republicans, and Democratic hawks who took this country and that sorrowful region into a sea of blood.”

Barack Obama standing in front of a wooden writing desk and two flagpoles.

For those who frequently criticize Obama’s foreign policy as weak heed the warnings. A unethical form of patriotism and American exceptionalism stalks the nation and seats of power where using military power is cherished as one of the pillars of what means to be an American. Before their reluctant entry into World War I and their late entry into World War II, many Americans prided themselves as being a nation of restraint, that war was a folly that destroyed man as witnessed by hundreds of years of European  history. Obama has made misjudgments domestically and abroad particularly in regards to the conduct of his allies such as Israel, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, yet they pale in the face of the errors of the Bush administration.

Matthew Williams

 

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