Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Back to Iraq? You Bet!

Daniel McAdams
Lew Rockwell Blog
January 8, 2014

Image: U.S. Troops (Wikimedia Commons).
As usual, the interventionists who run the US foreign policy establishment are drawing all the wrong conclusions from the news that the former “al-Qaeda in Iraq” (now “al-Qaeda in Iraq and Syria”) has set up shop in the notorious Fallujah. Sen. John McCain and his sidekick, Sen. Lindsey Graham, issued a joint statement over the weekend which unsurprisingly blamed the whole development on President Obama’s decision to withdraw US forces form Iraq in 2011.

Wrote the Senators:
When President Obama withdrew all U.S. forces from Iraq in 2011, over the objections of our military leaders and commanders on the ground, many of us predicted that the vacuum would be filled by America’s enemies and would emerge as a threat to U.S. national security interests.
There are two things wrong with this analysis. First, the phenomenon of al-Qaeda in Iraq was created by the invasion that the two Senators championed. Al-Qaeda was not in Iraq before 2003, as we all know. So if anyone is responsible for al-Qaeda in Iraq it is McCain, Graham, and the coterie of cakewalk neo-conservatives who pushed for the war. Secondly, as the Moon of Alabama blog so deftly points out, the whole “power vacuum” argument is a reality vacuum — making no sense:
It was the U.S. attack on Iraq that set off the sectarian war in Iraq and beyond. It was the removal of Saddam Hussein that changed the balance between Saudi Sunnism and Iranian Shiaism which then motivated the Saudis to unleash the Jihadist forces. It was not a ‘power vacuum’ that created the strife that continues today and will continue in the future. It was the insertion of U.S. forces into the Middle East that led to overpressure and the current explosions.
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