“You talk to pat yourselves upon the back.
Your actions only scream of what you lack:
The insight and intelligence to see
How much you’ve harmed yourself as well as me.
But just the same I’ll thank you to go home
Before you earn the fate that toppled Rome.”
Michael Murry. Introduction by William Astore.
Iraq is in the news again. As ISIS continues to expand its power, U.S. politicians engage in rehashing dishonest debates about “bad” intelligence in regards to Iraq (vintage 2002-03) or in recriminations about who did or is “losing” Iraq, e.g. this article from today’s New York Times about how the U.S. has been too timid in its use of airpower.
But Iraq was never ours to “win” from the beginning. Indeed, in toppling Saddam Hussein and demobilizing the Iraqi military, the U.S. created a power vacuum in Iraq that led predictably to civil war and the chaos of today. No “surge” in U.S. forces, no matter how permanent, could ever end this chaos, and of course the Petraeus surge was always meant to be temporary, a Band-Aid over a sucking chest wound, to use…
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