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?
I graciously grant you that.
What do we do now?
Simple. Let them kill each other. ISIS is a group that arose in the Sunni-Shiite split in Syria. They're not about "Death to America" nearly as much as they're all about "Death to Shiites."
It's really made to order for us. Let the Sunnis fight the Shias and bleed each other dry. We can clean up selling weapons and materiel to both sides. We might have to do a few surgical strikes here and there to keep the war going for a couple of decades until Islam is spent as a force, at least for a very long time.
If they attack us, kill them all. Otherwise, make as much money as possible.
It's really a no-brainer, once one gets beyond the whole Cowboy in White Hat paradigm.
war on Iraq which was justified through lies about weapons of mass destruction and complicity in the 9/11 attacks
the illegal aggressive war
My recollection is that it was justified by the continual
and aggressive breaking of the ceasefire conditions by Saddam.
He does not give support for his claim that it was an 'illegal' war
and is only repeating propagandist drivel.
Kinda. But a Sunni - Shia war is really a proxy war between Iran and Saudi Arabia. That can turn bad quick.
I am not sure what you mean by "inner Texans" but if you are criticizing nation building, I have been an opponent of that from the beginning. You can't build a democratic society in a country like Iraq. We should have put a strong man in control, one whose goal wasn't to nuke the US, and then got the hell out.
I don't buy that Bush didn't know the difference between Sunni and Shia. Where do you get that from? Maybe not in 2001, but in 2003, he most definitely did.
We will have to disagree on Iraq, though. Saddam did have WMDs, hate to break it to you, and he would have eventually found a way to make a devastating attack on the US. He knew about 9/11 in advance, allowed jihadis to train in their little terror facility, and if he wasn't working on nukes in 2003, he would have resumed soon enough. One does not give up one that, especially when one is next door to Iran and they are developing nukes.
Iraq was a good followup to Afghanistan, poorly executed, and without a vision of what to do after.
It kills me that Saddam is now looked at as someone with some sense of stability. The guy only had a 10 year war with Iran, invaded Kuwait, and gassed the Kurds, not to mention all the torture that went on there and mass graves. Some stability!
If anything, one could say nothing has changed. But really, can you argue that it’s actually worse?
Our ONLY interest there is oil.
So, build Keystone, drill baby drill, frack the bejessus out of the Marcellus, rape the Alaskan North Slope, open up the Santa Barbara Coast, etc. Suddenly, Saudi Arabia disappearing in a radioactive flash doesn't seem so bad.
Do you see?
It required some ass kicking, some economic coercion, some persuasion of the intellectual kind, a decades long effort similar to the cold war to isolate the Muslims and bring them out of the middle ages. No one in the administration, with the possible exception of Rumsfeld, had that kind of perspective.
And we needed a strategic vision for dealing with the home front. Newt had a great article on that around 2005 or so. We needed someone who would call out the traitors, explain the course of action, give the press a hard time when it tried to propagandize the American people, and use the bully pulpit. Bush acted as if convincing people and defending his actions was beneath him. He let himself be dragged down lower and lower in the public's eyes until it became possible that people would actually look at a Muslim commie traitor like Obama and say "give him a try".
I’m just curious what the “I told you so” crowd would have done after 9-11, more specifically the Democrats.
I seem to remember the “I told you so” Democrats that I know vociferously pounding the notion we should have finished off Saddam Hussien the first time, and blah blah. Of course that changed to whatever the media was spoon feeding them that week.
The next tactic on the plate was to say that Bush/Cheney planted WMD. I heard that from a lot of Dems too, probably got that s#$% from NPR that week.
I agree with that. In all reality the entire region needed to be dealt with but it's easy for me to say from the keyboard...
That is the delusion. Right there.
You could only say that if you have no real grasp on what Islam is. The Mullahs or some form of Islamic tyranny is inevitable there. Islam has controlled the area for 1500 years. Islam is like the Borg on Star Trek. Once you're in that world, there's no coming out.
There are no competing systems of thought allowed in the Middle East. Haven't been for 15 centuries. And you suppose that the American Cowboy in the White Hat - let's call him "Sugar Foot" just for argument's sake - is going to set all that right in a few years?
To say that is to overestimate our power on a scale rivaled only by the Hot Air Cult, who seriously think that mankind is important enough to change the Earth's climate. The sun, an unimaginably large ball of nuclear plasma that is the source of all of our energy? Not a big deal to them, apparently. Yuppies driving around in SUVs? Very, very big deal.
So too interventionists think that we can ride into town like Sugar Foot and change the thinking of a billion-plus people ingrained over 15 centuries in a few years.
Baseball, Coca-Cola, rock 'n roll! It's gotta work!
Sugar Foot, Sugar Foot, never underestimate him, Sugar Foot . . .
Good heavens, man. The utter lack of perspective is nothing short of astonishing.
We’re not far apart. Most of the 9-11 hijackers were from Saudi and Iran is going nuclear. So I don’t think this is a local Mideast issue. My goal is to destroy all enemies of America, or let them destroy themself.
I have always loved Pat and I love him more all the time —an amazing historian, orator, and fervent Patriot.
I always marvel that he has lived in DC his whole life, yet retains all his wholesome American-ness.
Exactly. If the enemy is shelling its own positions the last thing you do is try to stop them. Sit back. Microwave up some nachos. Enjoy the unfolding.
What are your thoughts about this 2004 FR thread, Pat Buchanan: The New Michael Moore? The very best of the FReepers don't seem to share your admiration of Pat Buchanan.
The keywords on that thread are quite telling: andyrooneylite; bushbasher; crankyoldman; hasbeen; judas; oldnutcake; patbuchanan; rightwentwrong;
That’s a particularly vile article that you referenced. Care to explain how it was that Ronald Reagan selected this ‘vicious anti-Semite’ as his White House Communications Director? But then I recall how some of the Buchanan haters also smeared Ronald Reagan. Letters to Commentary magazine after his Bitburg trip were full of hate for Reagan.
The original hit piece on Buchanan was written for Commentary by Joshua Muravchik, former president of the Young People’s Socialist League, and his smear has been treated as gospel ever since. I can understand its appeal to leftists but I figured conservatives would be acute enough to see through its distortions. Not so.
When the Israelis bombed Iraq’s Osirak reactor in June 1981 the Reagan administration condemned the attack. Buchanan, who held the conservative seat on Crossfire, supported Israel. Funny how Buchanan haters rarely mention facts that don’t fit their character assassination.
I’m a major fan of Buchanan. You must mean the other guy.
No, I don't agree with Pat Buchanan. I don't see a death of Western Civilization now or anytime in our future. To the contrary, I see an awakening of the rest of the world. More and more nations and societies are becoming free or freer. The former USSR, Afghanistan and Iraq are just recent examples of expanding freedom. With expanding freedom comes freedom of speech and freedom of religion and that will eventually bring a revival of spirituality.
I think Pat has forgotten the lessons of Ronald Reagan. Ignore the gloom and doomers, naysayers, and messengers from the darkside. Keep the light of freedom shining brightly for all to see. Welcome the former subjects of tyranny to the brave new world of freedom and help them find their way. Their struggles will be many. Never, ever surrender to the enemies of freedom. Do not throw up additional barriers to people yearning to be free. Their burdens are already much too heavy to bear. Do not preach the message of doom. Preach the message of light. On this Independence Day, remember the shining optimism of Ronald Reagan and his visions of freedom for all.
Ultimately, the Lord is going to have to be called into the picture to make it so. Politicians can’t do this, not even a second incarnation of Ronald Reagan could. Evangelists and responsive audiences must.
” Perhaps Saddam would have unleashed hell on the region and/or world. Perhaps not.”
The world? The region? Please, Saddam couldn’t even defeat Iran. His only conquest was tiny Kuwait.
To his north was Turkey which would have chewed up Iraq for drill. To his west was Syria, a Baathist ally, and Jordan which Iraq might have been able to roll. South is Saudi Arabia but that meant taking on the United States. The only other border country was Kuwait.
Iraq didn’t have a blue water navy, a strategic air force or ballistic missiles. Even if they had managed to get a nuclear bomb they couldn’t have delivered it very far. Iraq was at most a problem for its smaller neighbors, and Saddam was more of an admirer of Joe Stalin than of Mohammed.
I know, I just thought you’d be interested in the discussion.
America's enemies aren't primitive people as far away as they could possibly be. Nobody believes the "They hate us for our freedom!" dreck anymore.
America's enemies are molesting you @ the airport. They are taking your tax dollars. They are spying on you and shooting your house pet.
My point is that Ronald Reagan knew Pat Buchanan well, and those of you who resort to charging Buchanan with being an anti-Semite need to explain how it was that Reagan didn’t share your amazing insight.
The Buchanan bashers at Commentary who got this all going didn’t like Reagan any better than they did Buchanan, and called Reagan an anti-Semite for going to Bitburg. Do you agree with that as well?
Jim Robinson’s comments don’t help your position at all, as JR is not charging Buchanan with being an anti-Semite, which you do. What JR objects to is Pat’s prediction that the West is in decline, a gloomy view shared by James Burnham, one of National Review’s founding writers and a man whom President Reagan awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1983.
My point is quoting the boss is that Pat Buchanan lost his way. During the time he was working for President Ronald Reagan, I believe that he (PJB) was a good man. As Ronaldus Maximus's influence over Buchanan waned, he became unhinged. William F. Buckley stated:
I find it impossible to defend Pat Buchanan against the charge that what he did and said during the period under examination amounted to anti-Semitism, whatever it was that drove him to say and do it: most probably, an iconoclastic temperament.
Pat Buchanan is a closet ANTI-SEMITE and I wouldnt invite him into my city much less my neighborhood or home! Now, Pat Buchanan has long been an anti-Semite. His repulsive publication, The American Conservative, is an isolationist tract featuring the writings of magazine co-founder and open Jew-hater Taki Theodoracopulos, who calls himself a soi-disant antisemite. He once characterized Lehman Brothers CEO Richard Fuld as a very homely, simian-looking Jew who couldnt punch his way out of a nursery, and remarked that the United States was in danger of becoming Israel-occupied territory, meaning that it would be controlled by those nice guys who attack rock-throwing youth with armour-piercing missiles. Said Theodoracopulos, the way to Uncle Sams heart runs through Tel Aviv and Israeli-occupied territory.
When facts such as those are marshaled by a FReeper with such gravitas, I had to readjust my once favorable opinion of Pat Buchanan. I believe that he also writes for the VDare website, which (unless I'm mistaken -- and I might be) is among those banned by Free Republic.
Why don’t you spend more time learning what’s actually going on and less trying to shut people up?
Thanks for the advice, really. I'm 73 years of age and still actively engaged in the learning process. Although my fundamental principles have remained unaltered (pro-God, pro-life, pro-gun and anti-sodomy), thanks to Free Republic, I've been schooled and have readjusted my thinking.
A few posts back, you'll see that I was educated concerning Pat Buchanan by a stalwart FReeper who exposed some truths that I formerly didn't know.
If you sincerely think that I'm trying to shut people up rather than engage in a true give-and-take dialog, just point the boss to my posts and I'm certain he'll take the appropriate measures to void my login here.
I'll admit to being dense on this matter so I kindly ask you to educate me. Take a look at my "About Page" where I reveal much about myself and my posting history. What is it precisely do you find "creepy"?
Free Republic is the go-to source for breaking news, informed opinion from the smartest people in the world and a site for Conservative Activism as evidenced by the ultimate firing of Dan Rather, the chain of events all started by FR.
If you find me so loathsome that you rather I not respond further in this thread, I'll be glad to vacate it. Just indicate your preference and I'll oblige in the spirit of good will and Christian FRiendship.