Blame Iraq on George W. Bush and the GOP | Baltimore Post-ExaminerBaltimore Post-Examiner

Blame Iraq on George W. Bush and the GOP

Wounded U.S. personnel flown from Iraq to Ramstein, Germany, for medical treatment (February 2007). (Wikipedia)

Wounded U.S. personnel flown from Iraq to Ramstein, Germany, for medical treatment (Feb. 2007). Wikpedia.

In the usual myopic way of American domestic politics, the Republican Party is now eagerly gearing up to hammer President Barack Obama and his Democrats into pulp over the unfolding collapse of Iraq.

This strategy has a lot of appeal to the GOP. It offers the only hope to distract attention from their total failure to come up with any credible economic or domestic reform policies whatsoever that could conceivably boost employment and restore the American economy.

However, the Republicans should hesitate before throwing stones in glass houses, or pitching fireballs in a house with filled with combustible petroleum.

For the unfolding catastrophe in Iraq — it promises to be at least as vast and humiliating to the United States as the fall of South Vietnam was in 1975 — was primarily not the fault of Obama and the Democrats at all, though there is certainly plenty of blame to go around.

Car bombs are the rule not the exception in Iraq even after Bush declared Mission Accomplished. (Wikipedia)

Car bombs are the rule not the exception in Iraq even after Bush declared “Mission Accomplished.” (Wikipedia)

What we are seeing is the exposure and collapse of the entire fantasy of state-building embraced by President George W. Bush, his Vice President Dick Cheney, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and their famous coterie of neo-conservative intellectual advisers, all of whom were utterly ignorant of the history and politics of Iraq..

For what is happening in Iraq is the entire collapse of the supposedly Democratic system and armed forces structure that the United States unilaterally, recklessly and ineptly imposed upon Iraq after conquering it in March 2003.

On May 1, 2004 a typically cocky, arrogant and utterly clueless President George W. Bush pronounced “Mission Accomplished” in Iraq by the US armed forces. Instead, its long, slow grinding humiliation and exhaustion there was just about to begin.

The modern political structure of the Middle East was already 80 years old when Bush took power in January 2001. It was created when Britain’s Colonial Secretary Winston Churchill — the absolute ruler of one quarter of the human race as the key policymaker of the British Empire — created the modern nations of Iraq and Jordan, as he boasted, by the stroke of a pen.

For 80 years those borders, with all their faults, functioned for the peoples of the Middle East like the watertight compartments of a great ship.

However, Bush and his neocons in their witless crusade for democracy smashed holes in all those state structures. Their relentless insistence on general elections across the region as soon as possible fatally undermined the government of President Hosni Mubarak in Egypt and brought Hamas to power in Gaza.

US Marine Tank in Baghdad after the fall of Iraq in the second war. Will there be a third war? (Wikipedia)

US Marine Tank in Baghdad after the fall of Iraq in the second war. Will there be a third war? (Wikipedia)

After Bush left office, the crazed and incessant calls for instant democracy across the Middle East did not cease. President Obama, to his credit, finally resisted immense pressure to send U.S. armed forces to aid the rebels against President Bashir Assad in Syria. That civil war has over the past four years killed at least 100,000 people and the opposition forces, which New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman and many others championed for so long, is now dominated by ISIS, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

In Egypt, Gaza, Iraq, Libya and Syria, the story has been exactly the same. The U.S. drive to promote democracy so eagerly embraced by George W. Bush and his second secretary of state Condoleezza Rice, fatefully undermined existing regimes and opened the way to full scale civil wars and uprisings in which the small, weak and naïve middle class secular genuine democrats were quickly swept aside by formidable extreme Islamists. No wonder that experienced and responsible rulers in the region such as old King Abdullah ibn Abdelaziz of Saudi Arabia despaired of U.S. policymakers.

The total collapse of the American-created Iraqi army in 2014 should come as no surprise. The British Empire suffered the same humiliation twice. The Iraqi army thy had created and nurtured for 16 years turned on them and tried to expel them in a coup in 1941, seeking to join Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany at the height of World War II. The British did not hesitate to reinvade and reconquer the country.

US Army soldiers in a battle near Al Doura,Baghdad. (Wikipedia)

US Army soldiers in a battle near Al Doura,Baghdad. (Wikipedia)

Seventeen years later, in 1958, the army rose again. Young, well-meaning King Faisal II, his entire family and veteran Prime Minister (and British puppet) Nuri al-Said were slaughtered in scenes of extraordinary brutality and horror. This history was unknown to Bush, Rumsfeld and their fellow ignoramuses, and to President Obama’s policymaking “geniuses” as well. Now it is about to repeat itself.

Over the past decade, U.S. policymakers picked by George W. Bush and meekly echoed by the Obama administration turned the watertight compartments of strong national governments across the Middle East into weakened, leaking bulkheads certain to doom their respective ships of state.

American policymakers and the arrogant, ignorant, self-righteous media pundits who fed them their “ideas” created the Rube Goldberg joke that is the current government and constitution of “democratic” Iraq. And the army they created has proven as loyal, reliable and strong as the puppet armies that the British Empire tried to create in Iraq before them.

I documented this whole, sorry story and predicted the rapid collapse of the Iraqi “democracy” after U.S. forces pulled out in my 2008 book The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Middle East.

Only the reliable but increasingly exhausted forces of the U.S. armed forces prevented this collapse until now. And it was George W. Bush, not even Obama, who made the fateful concession to Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki before Bush left office that U.S. forces would soon pull out according to a set timetable. Yet U.S. power was all that ever held up the whole sorry “house of cards” in Iraq. So now it all is coming tumbling down.

The absurdity and futility of the Bush-Rumsfeld-Wolfowitz “democracy-building” dream in Iraq is now exposed for all to see. Instead, the Islamist jihadi tidal wave is sweeping all in sight.

 


About the author

Martin Sieff

Martin Sieff is a former senior foreign correspondent for The Washington Times and former Managing Editor, International Affairs for United Press International. Mr. Sieff is the author of "That Should Still Be Us: How Thomas Friedman's Flat World Myths Are Keeping Us Flat on Our Backs" (Wiley 2012) and "The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Middle East" (Regnery, 2008). He has received three Pulitzer Prize nominations for international reporting. Contact the author.
COMMENT POLICY
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  • fraccle

    Learn a new soooong

  • anarchteacher

    The war criminals in the Bush administration lied about the pretexts and reasons for their preemptive, illegal and unconstitutional invasion of Iraq, aided by the disinformation and propaganda by regime stenographers in the establishment mainstream media to hoodwink and bamboozle the hapless American electorate. The lies and dissembling concerning the war of aggression in Iraq have continued by Obama and his cohort.

    Here are several vitally important online articles regarding US imperial policies in the Middle East that attentive readers may have missed.

    In particular note the detailed maps putting forth the strategic formation for a new Middle East under the hegemony of the US and its Saudi and Israeli partners. What is going on presently has long been planned:

    The Engineered Destruction and Political Fragmentation of Iraq: Towards the Creation of a US Sponsored Islamist Caliphate;

    Was ISIS’s Plunder of Mosul an Insider Job?;

    Plans for Redrawing the Middle East: The Project for a “New Middle East;”

    Resurgence of Al Qaeda in Iraq, Fuelled by Saudi Arabia; and

    Al Qaeda: The Database.

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  • Jeremy D. Pike

    No one would accuse a right-wing libertarian like me as being “liberal,” but of course this is Bush’s fault. But then again most Democrats supported intervention in 2003. Another majority supported his papa’s intervention during the Gulf War. It’s kind of silly to put our silly systemic foreign policy mistakes in the lap of Repubs when Yugoslavia and Vietnam was the work of liberal Democrats.

    That’s what you all get for propping up this imperialistic two-party political system. Keep voting them in, keep reaping the consequences of their incessant wars.

  • KWMerican

    Uh, the Surge was an unmitigated success. Even Pelosi had to admit that. At the time Iraq was handed over to Obama, Iraq’s oil output was at 35-year record high levels and there was peace in the streets enough that troops were playing soccer.

    • Sten Deadio

      Guess you didn’t know the now-common knowledge fact that Bush sent pallets of shrink-wrapped CASH to Iraqi warlords so that they would stop attacking us for a month or two…Viola! The Surge “worked”!

      • KWMerican

        The men who fought during those harrowing times might disagree with your expertise on this subject.

        But it does seem that you admit Iraq was peaceful when handed over to Obama.

        • Sten Deadio

          Hardly, fool. And I’ve been there…how about you?

          • KWMerican

            I don’t believe you.

          • Sten Deadio

            How very convenient for you. But just like Climate Change and equal rights for ALL Americans, not just the straight white male ones., just because you don’t believe it doesn’t mean it ain’t real.
            Bush’s daddy did it right: Set a goal, accomplish goal, GTFO.
            Bush the Junior took advantage of an attack on American soil to fulfill his personal desire to invade Iraq, but failed to have a plan, or any brains, or a single competent adviser.
            Probably not the best way to do war.

          • KWMerican

            You can rant and carry on all you want. It doesn’t change the fact that:
            1) Iraq was peaceful when handed over to Obama
            2) Now it is falling apart.

          • Sten Deadio

            Another fine example of one of the few things the Right does well: Oversimplify the snot out of something until it looks good for them.
            “Iraq was peaceful when handed over to Obama”
            Hilarious…I guess you don’t remember when candidate McCain went over there to demonstrate how effective the GOP plan to make Iraq “peaceful” was, by “casually walking through a downtown bazaar” along with hundreds of security guards, choppers circling overhead, tanks at every intersection, and him wearing a blast shield and bulletproof vest.
            GOP definition of “Safe”= Anything short of actual Armageddon.

          • KWMerican

            Another fine example of one of the few things the Left does well: Exaggerate to the point of hyperventilation to avoid dealing with facts.

            Just how many troops were killed three months after the conclusion of the surge? You previously admitted it was peaceful because of pay-off, right?

            By your logic, the United States = Armageddon judging from the massive firepower surrounding Obama in his own country.

          • Sten Deadio

            You are clearly discombobulated by my rope-a-doping you and your sad desperate attempts to defend the indefensible.
            I’m off to do something constructive, as there is no glory in whipping on such a clear inferior.
            Good day to you.

          • KWMerican

            Butthurt?

            Sucks getting owned, huh?

          • fraccle

            AND was even cited by none other than Vice President Biden as one of Obama’s shining successes. Now that the training wheels fall off.. Bush’s fault!

          • Lonzo

            I was in iraq in 2006 and 2008 with 2nd light armored recon as a scout. I was an infantry marine and we didnt get in a single firefight in 2008. But we did find 15 chemical weapons buried next to an airfield. My entire unit didnt fire a single round.

  • BassMasterson

    Liberal response to everything is “blame Bush” and “you’re racist”, which is no surprise since liberal policy is founded on whining and complaining about not being able to succeed in a competition based society. Obama knew what he was getting into in 2008 and has since proved his inability to lead. Oblamer owns this mess and the mess caused by all the scandals his administration has perpetrated.

    • billfromboston

      Thanks for the comedy gold, Bass. That’s pitch-perfect satire of the extremist right-wing position. Also, the very name “Bass” suggests the toothless, uneducated loser on the dole–the heart of the Tea Party. And the mention of “scandals”–awesome! Like how he lied to get us into war! The man should be impeached and imprisoned for that.

      Thanks for making my day!

      • KWMerican

        And snide left-wing extremists resort to name-calling…how predictable.

    • Grazzly

      Your comment is like a spotlight on the vacancy of the conservative mind.

    • Sten Deadio

      Conservative-Builds a pipe bomb, sets it off, blames the firemen coming to put out the conflagration for the explosion, tells the injured victims to quit whining.

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