Source: Eurasia Review
Anyone who has given any thought to our tragic military adventures in Iraq must be sorry to see Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel leave. Not only did he express reservations about the Bush/Cheney Iraq war, but, according to news reports, he wanted an up-front discussion of the pros and cons of confronting IS (or ISIS or ISIL the name changes almost too frequently) directly with US troops. Sergeant Hagel had seen the Vietnam mess first hand; not so the ardent armchair interventionists (AAIs) of this administration . Apparently the AAIs won out.
Moreover, previous cabinet officers have written about the excessive importance attached to polls by this White House. That policy is poll-driven as opposed to principle-driven marks a certain inability or disinterest in developing strategies with distinct long-term goals and benefits, and then convincing the public of their virtue. Thus the ad hoc nature of policy, intuited by the electorate as an unsure hand at the helm.
Among a myriad reasons why we should not intervene now in Iraq, is a simple and important one: we will now be busy making a new set of extremist enemies so dangerous as to not mind killing themselves in pursuit of their aims. Bombing them (our preferred method) kills many more civilians than the few entrenched IS fighters in the heavily populated cities.
The bombing campaign against IS has naturally caused another flood of refugees, most of whom according to reports found life more bearable under IS (as they are Sunnis, even if extremist) than under the viciously sectarian, Shia regime of former Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. For the refugees, life is getting even worse as the UN program providing food aid has run out of funds; pressed by weak economies, donors are not fulfilling commitments.
By the way, how does IS "involve an actual or imminent threat to the nation"? It was candidate Obama's prerequisite, as a presidential hopeful in 2007, for a president to "unilaterally authorize a military attack" ... "under the constitution."
Finally, what will be the cost of this new found war? One would guess at least the $1 million per soldier per year of the Afghan war and then some, because bombing campaigns are expensive. This, while poor schools do not often have enough money for books, poverty and income inequality keep rising, and our infrastructure, the backbone of any economy, is crumbling. Working on the last would produce a multitude of decent paying jobs.
On November 19, in the UN General Assembly's Third Committee -- it carries responsibility for humanitarian issues -- there was a vote on a resolution to condemn attempts to glorify Nazism and deny Nazi war crimes. While it was clearly aimed at Ukraine and its neo-Nazis, it also called for the adoption of the International Convention against racial discrimination to have a mechanism for resolving complaints.
Both at home and abroad, the actions of militarist authority beg the question, where is our moral compass?