Invading Reality

June 17, 2014

As the escalating sectarian violence in Iraq lights up the news, there have been a lot political figures in the U.S. trying to figure out what went wrong. Many critics of President Barack Obama are using the crisis to blame him, suggesting his move to withdraw U.S. troops is to blame. However, the problem is that most of these voices are the same individuals who pressed the U.S. to invade Iraq during President George W. Bush's administration. They somehow want us to listen to their opinion on Iraq and security even though they were at best wrong (and at worse lying) about the Iraq war. With some of the warmongers claiming we should resend U.S. troops into Iraq, it quickly becomes clear they have not learned from their past mistakes. Iraq was broken by the ill-advised war that cost the lives of thousands of U.S. troops, killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, and decimated the Christian community in the nation.

USA Today columnist (and Fox News contributor) Kirsten Powers captured the issue well. Here are a few highlights from her column:

Since Saddam Hussein was not known for supporting al-Qaeda and had no connection to the 9/11 attacks, the invasion never made sense. Now it makes even less sense as Iraq is terrorized by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), a jihadist group that even al-Qaeda found too extreme. 
... Iraq War advocates ... have yet to take responsibility for what will go down as one of the most horrific foreign policy debacles in American history. 
... Let's be clear: What is happening in Iraq is the fault of the George W. Bush administration and those who agitated for invasion. ... no invasion, no ISIS overrunning Iraq.
After correctly noting that the current destabilization is a result of Bush's invasion and not Obama's withdrawal, Powers notes it is important to remember this since many of the people who beat the war drums for Bush are now claiming to be experts as they criticize Obama. Powers concluded:
When considering their advice, it's important to remember just how wrong they got it in the first place. It would also be wise for them, and everyone else, to pause and reflect on the unintended consequences of U.S. military actions before the U.S. starts headlong down another dangerous path
. Amen!

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