Friday, June 20, 2014

The 'Debate' over Iraq: Insanity vs. Reason

As predicted, Iraq is collapsing. The country was never viable. Its borders were established artificially by the colonial powers during the first half of the 20th century, in documents like the Sykes-Picot Agreement between Britain and France in 1916 and the British Balfour Declaration in 1917. Artificial multi-ethnic countries can be held together by dictators (Saddam Hussein in Iraq, Tito in Yugoslavia, etc.), but otherwise they often break apart.

Vice President Biden was right all along: partitioning could be the best solution. Let the Kurds go. Biden, by the way, has long been wise and knowledgeable, both in domestic and foreign policy. The fact that he is often derided as a buffoon by the media is ridiculous and contrary to fact.

The real buffoons are the Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld-Wolfowitz neo-con gang that got us into the Iraq war. This should not be open to discussion. Yet there IS a discussion and that is preposterous. There is “DEBATE” about (1)whether or not the US should go back into Iraq, and (2) who was right - the neo-cons or those opposed to the Iraq war, like President Obama!

The problem is NOT the neo-cons. Obviously they were utterly wrong, and they are totally discredited. The problem is that they are invited to the debate NOW! The problem is that the media and a sizable segment (perhaps a plurality) of the American public feels that “there are two sides to this issue”!

That makes some of you the problem, my friends! Do you have any memory? Do you remember the weapons-of-mass-destruction charade in 2003 and the lies that were obvious even then?

There was France’s vehement effort at the United Nations to convince us not to invade Iraq. Do you remember the gross insults that country got from American politicians and comedians like Jay Leno, with idiocies like “freedom fries”? Colin Powell, at least, warned us of the Pottery Barn principle: If you break it, you own it. But the Bushies insisted on breaking Iraq. And some of you DARE blame Obama for what is happening now? Pottery Barn, alright: Bush broke it, and now Obama owns it.

The mouthpieces of the military-plutocratic complex - nauseating Fox characters like Sean Hannity, Charles Krauthammer and George Will - are predictable. Nothing new there.

But what is truly aggravating is the disorientation of even presumably “liberal” media and the allegedly “independent” public.

National Public Radio just held a “table discussion” about Iraq: It concluded with the following “question”: Would it be better today if the current occupant of the White House were someone who had originally supported the invasion of Iraq, or opposed it (as President Obama did)? What sort of imbecile question is this?

How cowardly and conservative have the media become? Must they always equivocate, in the name of “balance”? Do we need to discuss the pros and cons of the Holocaust or AIDS?

In a recent article in the left-leaning news service Reader Supported News, Robert Parry writes that Obama is “At the Crossroad of War or Peace:” The President should “get off his moral high horse” and become more of a “tough guy.” To be sure, Parry does not advocate war for America, just more assertive diplomatic engagement, and a re-alignment based on more cooperation with Putin and Iran, and less kowtowing to Israel and to Saudi Arabia. Whatever.

What is flabbergasting is that so many are blaming Obama for current foreign debacles - in Iraq, in Ukraine, in Libya and everywhere else. A recent poll shows him to be at an all-time low popularity in terms of his foreign policies.

When will Americans learn that sometimes doing LESS is better than doing more? Remember the Hippocratic oath: First, do no harm!

Have people no memory? What about the 5,000 dead American soldiers, the 100,000 maimed American veterans, the quarter million dead Iraqis, the $2 trillion spent, the destruction of an entire country...for zero gain to America!

And the US should go back in and start indiscriminate bombing?

While we are at it, we might as well start military actions in Yemen, Nigeria, Mali, Somalia, Sudan, Ukraine, Libya and a dozen other hot spots. Why not.

Here are some countries that “do less” (saber rattling): China, Europe, Japan, Australia, Canada. Is it a coincidence that they all thrive? While the American middle class disappears, our infrastructure and schools rot, our industry vanishes, the dollar declines, public health struggles, our balance of trade remains as bad as ever, our federal budget deficit grows.

© Tom Kando 2014

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