13 April 2015

Bush Vindicated?

Many Christians seem to find some satisfaction in posting a video by FOX television personality Megyn Kelly. In it she's revisiting a video from Bush late in his presidency wherein he warns about the dangers of pulling out of Iraq too early.

Somehow they think this is a vindication? If we had just listened to George Bush then all of this wouldn't be happening?

Let's go back a few more years and look at all the videos of people warning Bush not to invade Iraq. They said it would all fall apart and may result in the whole Middle East descending into chaos. Who is vindicated?

They also fail to understand the extent of destruction. Since 1991 around two million Iraqis have died prematurely due to a host of issues associated with American sanctions, bombings and the 2003 invasion.

The whole society has been utterly destroyed. It is not inaccurate to refer to it in a broad sense as a genocide and that's exactly some people view it.

I certainly did, but I was thinking in those terms back in the 1990's. The 2003 invasion was just adding insult to injury. This is why the shoe-thrower was viewed as a hero. His action represented years of pent up frustration and for a brief moment it didn't matter what faction you belonged to. His insult communicated in the most visceral of terms how every Iraqi felt.

The United States spent millions of dollars to temporarily pacify the situation by 2008. And yet that was just a temporary measure at best. Paying off the Sunnis and a 'surge' of troops could hardly be viewed as a permanent arrangement. The country is a fictitious creation of the British. It's never been viable and the only way to hold it together is with force.

You either maintain a permanent military occupation or you install a dictator.

Or you let it fragment and break apart through the course of civil war.

Or you mind your own business and don't invade in the first place!

The United States paid off the Sunnis to fight and destroy Al-Qaeda in Iraq and to quit fighting the Shiites who had taken over in Baghdad. Today some of these same Sunnis are part of ISIS. It's the same Sunni block that lost power in 2003. The years of destruction and deprivation have created more extremism. The Shiite government installed by the US alienated them and though not all of them are quite thrilled with ISIS, the real threat is Shiite regime in Baghdad.

It will likely get worse. The Syria situation egged on by the United States has also played a role. Israeli aggression toward the Palestinians has also played a role.

The US-backed Egyptian military overthrowing the Muslim Brotherhood has also contributed to the anger of the region.

The window afforded the United States an opportunity to get out. It was either then or be there another twenty years. The rise of Sunni extremism created a situation that is somewhat reminiscent of the Sino-Soviet split. A common enemy afforded a rare basis for rapprochement with Iran and a chance to adjust the alignment of the Middle East.

Obama took the opportunity. There's was no possibility the status quo was going to hold, neither politically or practically. From his standpoint at least now they use surgical methods and arm proxies rather than have tens of thousands of American troops in place.

 I'm not suggesting that's somehow more 'moral'... it's just good old American pragmatism.

Obama wants to turn his back on the Middle East and posture for a new theatre with China in the Pacific, but he's trapped.

If there is a person (or group) to be blamed for all the present turmoil in the Middle East, it's Bush and those behind him who formed his ideas and crafted the policy. Their understanding of the world was deficient and naive. The whole basis for the war was rooted in deception, WMD's that didn't exist and an Al Qaeda connection that was fabricated. It's not like people weren't saying it back in 2002.

The Neo-cons viewed Iraq as the stepping stone for their large-scale project to take out at least a half-dozen countries. They were clueless and failed and yet they haven't gone away. They'll be in the thick of it in 2016 and whispering in the ears of not a few candidates. The objectives of the PNAC live on and still represent a threat to the peace of the world.

The Arab Spring was a rejection of US policy and the extremism of Al Qaeda style Islamism. It has failed and generated a severe reaction. Syria and Libya are in chaos. The uprisings in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain have been suppressed. Iran crushed its own dissent and ironically has come out rather well in all of this. Bush and the Neo-cons destroyed the balance of power in the Middle East. Saddam Hussein was the balancing force between Iran and Saudi Arabia.

Tunisia, the one success is in a fragile state. And Yemen is another society that has been ripped apart. The United States has played a significant role in this and now the country is in a state of civil war.

The video of Bush is an embarrassment an indictment of his failures, a display of his 'stay the course' ignorance. If the Americans still had tens of thousands of troops in Iraq, the Middle East would still be in chaos. By now we might have seen the Jordanians toppled and ISIS pouring into the West Bank. It's hard to imagine but to think that keeping American troops in Iraq for another 5 or 10 years was some kind of a viable option is to put ignorance on display.

Afghanistan will also fail, another situation where the US is once more fighting old allies like Hekmatyar... but the most dangerous situation is probably in Pakistan. The United States has been meddling with Karachi since the 1980's and has worked (advertently or inadvertently) to destabilize a very dangerously situated nation.

Please tell your friends and relatives to turn off FOX and start reading or watching some better quality videos that will challenge your assumptions. You can't hear which way the wind is blowing from inside an echo chamber and you'll never come close to seeing the truth if you insist on being blinded by patriotic lenses. As Christians we are citizens of the Kingdom of Truth. Anyone who puts another allegiance on equal or superior ground is a traitor to Christ's Kingdom.