Skip to comments.The Noninterventionists Told You So
Posted on 06/18/2014 7:15:10 PM PDT by VitacoreVision
Contrary to popular belief, there is no satisfaction in being able to say, I told you so. This is especially so with Iraq, where recent events are enough to sicken ones stomach. Yet it still must be said: those who opposed the George W. Bush administrations invasion of Iraq in March 2003 not to mention his fathers war on Iraq in 1991 and the sanctions enforced through the administration of Bill Clinton were right.
The noninterventionists predicted a violent unraveling of the country, and thats what were witnessing. They agreed with Amr Moussa, chairman of the Arab League, who warned in September 2002 that the invasion would open the gates of hell. There was no ISIS or al-Qaeda in Saddam Husseins Iraq before the U.S. invasion.
Once again, the establishment news media have ill-served the American public. In the buildup to the 2003 bipartisan war on Iraq which was justified through lies about weapons of mass destruction and complicity in the 9/11 attacks little time and ink were devoted to the principled opponents of intervention.
Maybe war builds circulation, ratings, and advertising revenues. Or maybe corporate news outlets fear losing access to high-ranking government officials. Whatever the explanation, far more media resources went toward hyping the illegal aggressive war than to the case against it.
No one can grasp the complexity of ones own society, we noninterventionists said, much less a society with Iraqs unique religious, sectarian, and political culture and history. Intervention grows out of hubris. Nonintervention accepts the limits of any ruling cadres knowledge. The war planners had no clue how to reform Iraqi society. But there was one thing they did know: they would not suffer the consequences of their arrogance.
Youd think that with the noninterventionists proven right, the media would learn from their folly and turn to them to analyze the current turmoil in Iraq. But youd be mistaken.
With few exceptions, the go-to authorities are the same people who got it wrong not all of them neoconservatives, because interventionists come in different stripes. The discussion today is almost exclusively over how the Obama administration should intervene in Iraq, not if it should intervene. Even Paul Wolfowitz, one of the wizards of the original invasion, gets face time on major networks. He was part of the crowd which said that American invaders would be greeted with rose petals, that regime change in Iraq would spread liberal democracy throughout the Middle East, and that even peace between the Israelis and Palestinians would take place.
These authorities were wrong about everything assuming they believed their own words but that seems not to matter.
They have their own story, of course. Its not the 2003 invasion that has brought Iraq to disintegration, they say. It is Barack Obamas failure to leave U.S. troops in Iraq after 2011. This argument doesnt work.
First, Obama (wrongly) asked Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to allow troops to remain beyond the deadline negotiated by Bush, but al-Maliki insisted that U.S. personnel who commit crimes be subject to Iraqi law, a reasonable demand. Obama would not accept that.
Second, why should we believe the advocates of the original invasion when they say a residual U.S. force could have prevented the offensive now conducted by ISIS, aka the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (Levant)? Its far more likely that if American troops were in Iraq today, they would be killing and dying.
Al-Maliki is everyones favorite scapegoat now, and the ruler known as the Shiite Saddam certainly is a villain. He has arrested respected Sunni figures and ordered troops to shoot peaceful Sunni demonstrators. But recriminations against the Sunnis, who were identified with Saddams secular Baathist party, started with the American administration of Iraq.
U.S. intervention now would be perceived as taking the Shiite side in the Iraqi sectarian war. (Obama is intervening, though on the opposite side, in Syria, which helped build ISIS.) The conflict is complicated not all Sunnis and Shiites want sectarian violence but thats all the more reason to think that neither American troops nor diplomats can repair Iraq. The people themselves will have to work things out. As for terrorism, it is U.S. intervention that makes Americans targets.
Sheldon Richman is vice president and editor at The Future of Freedom Foundation in Fairfax, Va.
The treasonous DemonRATS were (and are) the enemy within, derailing the winning strategy of the Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld team. Jim Robinson, the owner of this site, supports the Bush Doctrine and the unraveling of Iraq shows, more than ever, that President George Bush was right.
The US can no longer send troops anywhere. We are a nation divided and can never fight a war the proper way again. The other side would say we would if we were directly attacked by another nation. The sad part is we probably will be attacked at some point as a result of the mess this ass of a president and his party is creating in the world and in our military.
I am pinging the mod to request that this thread be deleted. He's a liberal surrender monkey much like Ron Paul.
I wonder how the Arab Spring would have treated Sadaam. Let’s just pretend that if the US hadn’t intervened , even in Kuwait in 1991, that everything would have just stayed peachy over there.
Only a drooling idiot ever believed that Islam is somehow compatible with democracy. Remember that Dubya yammered on and on and on about how Islam is a "religion of peace."
Only a drooling idiot could have said that.
And Dubya said it many times.
So, let's try to draft up a syllogism, shall we?
All men are mortal. Socrates is a man. Therefore Socrates is mortal.
Likewise, all who say that Islam is a "religion of peace" and is somehow compatible with democracy are blithering idiots. George W. Bush said many times that Islam is a "religion of peace" and that it is completely compatible with democracy. Therefore, George W. Bush is a blithering idiot.
Deal with it, Neocons. You were wrong. You created one of the greatest foreign policy blunders in our history. We told you so, but you were too arrogant (as blithering idiots always are) to ever even give it a second thought.
All warmongering Neocons owe us Buchananite conservatives a thoroughly groveling apology.
I can only hope that from here on out we as a nation will finally remember George Washington's admonition about foreign entanglements, turn our backs on all these imperial designs once and for all, retreat to Fortress America and raise the bloody drawbridge and leave it up until Kingdom Come.
What a load of crap. The New American must be what America will be when Obama has transformed it.
Bush’s problem wasn’t that he did it. It was that he didn’t defend it, and he didn’t use it as a springboard to destabilize Iran.
We were imposing a no-fly zone when we attacked Iraq in 2003. There is no way to know what Saddam would have done if we did not pursue regime change. I fully supported the invasion.
But. America needs to deal with today’s reality. Obama is incompetent. We lost vital ongoing intelligence in Iraq because of the 2011 withdrawal. Our options today are limited.
My personal view is we either unleash the full force of our military with almost unlimited rules of engagement, or stand down and let the Arabs kill each other and let Muhammad sort things out.
The fact of the matter is that no one can see into the future. We don’t know yet how this is going to all turn out. One thing I do know.....the Obama Administration will bungle it all up.
Patrick J. Buchanan is not well liked by the Conservative stalwarts of Free Republic. I humbly advise you to tread very lightly here (and sniff the air for ozone) when supporting any viscious anti-Semite, especially #6 on the list.
Right now, the neocons (and too many FReepers) are engaged in the same debate George Washington’s doctors had after he died:
“It all would be OK now if we’d just bled him a little more!!!”
The alternative cannot be contemplated.
I mean no disrespect, but that's obviously wrong. To say that means that you have no idea what Islam is. Neither did Bush, by the way. He famously didn't know the difference between the Sunni and Shia branches of his Religion of Peace.
Here's the problem. Bush clearly did not understand the situation there AT ALL. He had no idea what he was dealing with in Islam. He assumed that Sunnis and Shias all had inner Texans screaming to get out.
Surely you agree with that, right?
So if Bush went into Iraq having absolutely no idea what the situation really was, how can you not say that the project was FUBAR from the get-go?
Invading Iraq was obviously a blunder. There was never any hope of success in the sense of making Iraq a solid democracy that we be our reliable ally in the Middle East. That's what the moronic Neocons wanted. Like I said, only a fool could ever have believed that.
Fair. But we will never know what events would unfold if we did not invade Iraq. Perhaps Saddam would have unleashed hell on the region and/or world. Perhaps not.
So we need to deal with today’s reality.
Everyone loves to say, “I told you so.” But when a difficult decision needs to be made, you cannot find them for some reason.
“....not to mention his fathers war on Iraq in 1991 and the sanctions enforced through the administration of Bill Clinton were right.”
So, we should have let Hussein keep Kuwait, ignoring our treaty with Kuwait? And then we should not have sanction Hussein’s regime for starting the war in the first place?
Ah-huh. Does this stupid lefty not remember than 34 nations (including much of the Islamic world and several key Iraqi allies, like France), and a unanimous vote by the UN Security Council (lefties love the UN, after all) all said that driving Hussein out of Kuwait was the RIGHT thing to do?