"I will not send
American boys 8- or 10-thousand miles around the world to do a job that Asian
boys ought to be doing for themselves."
-- President Lyndon B. Johnson
Just finished watching the current resident of the White House declare that America is sending 300 "military advisers" to Iraq to help with "training" and to "assist" the native Iraqi military forces. You know, the ones who shed their uniforms and left them lying in the street when the rebel forces known as ISIS (Not the Egyptian god of fertility, but rather the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) began to advance through Mosul on to Baghdad last week.
Unless you've been living in a cave (I'm looking at YOU Ayman al-Zawahiri) you know that these radical forces have been taking the Sunni section of northern Iraq by storm these past few weeks, taking no prisoners, leaving a black swath of death and destruction in their wake. They robbed the banks in Mosul of almost $400-million dollars, not to mention taking over American military equipment left behind in the hands of the Iraqi military that we trained for 11 years (humvees, automatic weapons, armored personnel vehicles, and the like).
President Obama declared an end to combat operations in Iraq, most folks
breathed a sigh of relief. Obama offered to leave behind a residual force to
continue training and support for the Iraqi military, but as you know, Iraqi
President Nouri al-Maliki said NO.
Then the new Iraqi President created a government of cronies, composed primarily of Shiite Muslims, intentionally excluding the Sunni minority to the north, not to mention the always-neglected Kurds along the northern border. This segregation and favoritism has now spawned a violent reaction from ISIS.
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is the "leader" of this extreme rebel group, a now well-funded ragtag bunch of pissed-off Sunni Muslims armed with machine guns and religious hatred. They killed hundreds of Shiite Muslims in Mosul, some by execution-style bullets to the head, others by chopping off their head with a sharpened machete.
These guys are so weird and violent that they have been denounced by al-Qaeda. Even Iran is supporting the United States' position that al-Maliki needs to include Sunnis and Kurds in the Iraqi coalition government.
So we have lost 4,489 American men and women fighting in Iraq, not to mention 31,944 who came home with brain trauma, missing a leg below the knee, or minus other vital parts like hands, eyes, ears, testicles, or speech. The Iraqis themselves have lost as many as 500,000 people from a war that never should have been fought in the first place, and some estimates put that figure as high as a million or more.
Neighboring Syria is also a big mess as a result of our meddling with Iraq, with refugees flooding into Iraq, Jordan, and Lebanon. Bashir al-Assad is killing his own people with conventional weapons every day. (Nobody is paying attention anymore since he's not committing genocide with chemical weapons.)
So let's see... why was it that Boy George, Rummy, Wolfowitz, and Cheney insisted that we invade Iraq, mostly unilaterally on our own with a patina of other countries (the famous "Coalition of the Willing") helping us out on March 19, 2003? (Who can forget the incredibly brave contributions of Micronesia, Poland, Colombia, Eritrea, and El Salvador?)
Well, there was oil
of course--the original name of the Invasion was Operation Iraqi Liberation
(OIL) until some genius in the Shrub White House determined that was too
didactic and re-christened it as Operation Iraqi Freedom, which sounded
much more noble.
Only problem there was that although Cheney's petroleum-slicked buddies from Houston, you know, Brown and Root, Halliburton, did manage to secure the oil fields, their intent was to keep oil OFF the market so that the price would go up. Maybe that's what the Evil Spawn of 41 meant when he and his codpiece "landed" on an aircraft carrier (yeah, right) off the coast of San Diego with their brilliantly colored banner "Mission Accomplished."
The invasion was good news for Blackwater (now Xe) Private Military Contractors (PMCs) who made a fortune locking and loading and feeding our boys hamburgers on base.
The ostensible reason we went in was because Saddam Hussein had Weapons of
Mass Destruction, which of course never materialized. Condi told the U.N.
that we didn't want to find the "smoking gun in the form of a mushroom