blue bits. red rocks.


In short, the Gulf War seemed to suggest that international institutions, underwritten by revolutionary advances in American military power, could finally solve real military security problems. The political and technological foundations for a transformation in the functioning of global politics were in place. The intervening twenty-three years have given us time to reconsider this conclusion. The Good, the Bad and the Messy: The Legacy of the First Gulf War

If Washington wants to do something about the Islamic State, it should send humanitarian aid to displaced civilians, restart talks to end Syria’s civil war, and condition all assistance to Baghdad on its willingness to improve conditions for Iraq’s Sunni minority. The last thing Obama should do is fight a war for allies who are losing a popularity contest to a group that beheads people. Obama’s Dumb War

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…if you look at almost all of the Congress and the media, there is no sense whatsoever that any of this is happening because we invaded an innocent country. Yes, it was a country innocent of the charges of having WMDs. The Iraq of back then was guilty of other things, but not of harboring WMDs to be used against the USA, not of supporting Al Qaida, not of exporting terrorism to other parts of the Western World. There is no sense that we could have, in any way, been one of the causes that triggered this horrific counter-reaction by the jihadists. No, there is only talk of how we should have stayed longer in Iraq, how we should have been militarily tougher, how we should have taken over Syria (and maybe even Saudi Arabia), how we should be wiling to put boots on the ground. There is no self-analysis; there is no concern for changing our interventionist national attitude; there is no sense of reevaluation. If anything, as parts of Islam have become jihadist, so have many of our countrymen (and Orthodox clergy) become jingoists. Violence seems to be the only answer increasingly given by both sides. Jihadist or Jingoist, what a choice this world has! Jihadist or Jingoist, what a choice!

The initial intervention in Iraq earlier this year was a mistake, but it was the one that was most easily corrected. It didn’t have to become the ever-expanding war that it has since become, but Obama and other administration officials chose to turn it into exactly that. The decision to expand the war into Syria was another error, not least since it put the U.S. on the hook for halting ISIS gains in Syria when it had no real ability to do so. The war against ISIS is failing to achieve its aims, but those aims are far too ambitious for the means that most Americans are willing to use. The war is unnecessary for U.S. security, the stated goal cannot be achieved at a remotely acceptable cost, and there is no Congressional or public support for doing what would be required to achieve it. The choice now is between ending a short, failed war that hasn’t cost the U.S. very much yet and continuing a much longer, failed war that imposes ever-increasing costs. The U.S. Needs to End the Latest Unnecessary War

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I was in favor of the U.S. invasion. But we are literally 5,000 times worse than before. If you look at it, you can see it was wrong. We have gained nothing. Literally nothing. We may have had an evil dictator, but now we have total terrorism. We used to have one Saddam. Now we have thousands. Rev. Canon Andrew White

While our team lived and worked in Baghdad, the U.S. and Iraqi forces bombed and destroyed whole neighborhoods and cities in the name of anti-terrorism, generating more anger toward America. The U.S. failed to support the progressive, mostly nonviolent, uprisings, around the country, against government abuse and corruption. Throughout the years of occupation, it was clear to us that U.S. military actions in Iraq were not really directed at protecting the Iraqi people, but for protecting American personnel and U.S. economic and military interests in Iraq and the Middle East. Then, in early August of this year, U.S. military strikes were, once again, less for protecting religious and ethnic minorities in Iraq than protecting U.S. diplomats and the large oil companies developing oil fields in the Kurdish region. IRAQI KURDISTAN REFLECTION: The new military intervention in Iraq—on not repeating what has not worked

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