AZspot

blue bits. red rocks.

iraq

☼   ☼      ☼   ☼
☼   ☼      ☼   ☼

While Bush narrowly prevailed in 2004, his re-election was won by one of the smallest margins for a sitting president in modern U.S. history, which is all the more striking when one considers his extraordinarily high approval ratings just a year or two before. Bush may have tried painting Kerry as too dovish at times, but the main attacks against the Democratic nominee were that he was hypocritical to criticize Bush on Iraq when he had also voted for the authorization, that his opposition to the war was late and opportunistic, and that he was supposedly too deferential to international opinion (the so-called “global test” controversy). However, even in 2004 Bush’s foreign policy was already becoming something of liability for him and his party, and as the situation in Iraq deteriorated it became a major one. In the decade since then, a reputation for hawkishness has gone from helping presidential candidates to hurting them. Being perceived as the most hawkish candidate can often be a liability in presidential politics. Most voters may be willing to support a generally hawkish candidate, but not one that is perceived as reckless or too eager to resort to force. Hawkishness Can Be a Serious Liability

☼   ☼      ☼   ☼

It’s no exaggeration to say that virtually every current problem in the region stems at least in part from the imperial double cross and carve-up that took place after the war. And the immediate results of the European betrayal were then exacerbated by further acts of intervention and neocolonialism, most recently: President George H. W. Bush’s Gulf War and embargo on Iraq; President Bill Clinton’s continued embargo and bombing of Iraq; President George W. Bush’s invasion and occupation of Iraq and overthrow of the secular regime of Saddam Hussein (al-Qaeda, of which the Islamic State is an offshoot, was not in Iraq before this); President Barack Obama’s support (until recently) for the corrupt, autocratic Shi’ite government in Baghdad; and Obama’s throwing in with those seeking to oust secular Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, which made that country a magnet for radical Sunni jihadis, the same who are now threatening genocide against Shi’ites, Christians, and Yazidis in Iraq. (Thus Obama’s policy is at war with itself.) Out of Iraq, Etc.!

☼   ☼      ☼   ☼
☼   ☼      ☼   ☼
☼   ☼      ☼   ☼

When I say the United States “created” the Islamic State (or “ISIS” as it’s sometimes known), one may very well think I’m also about to tell you that jet fuel can’t melt steel and that Bush knocked down the towers. But this is no convoluted conspiracy involving holograms and crisis actors. It’s quite simple and tragic: The United States invaded Iraq, killed an ungodly amount of people who had friends and family who loved them, unleashed a wave of terrorism across the Middle East—turns out, watching one’s mother die in a US airstrike does not nurture moderation—then installed and armed a sectarian Shiite leader in Iraq, Nouri al-Maliki, who proceeded to kill, torture, and generally alienate the Sunni population of Iraq, which is now, not coincidentally, lending support to the Islamic State’s vicious brand of Sunni extremism. America Helped Make the Islamic State

A GNT creation ©2007–2014