Friday, August 08, 2014

Responsibility to Protect the Politics on Iraq

Here we go. Airstrikes in Iraq from the same president who ended the war in 2011.  The mainstream media has even noticed, which has engaged the White House spin machine:  America is simply protecting a bunch of people from genocide and protecting Irbil.  It has nothing to do with Bush's disaster.

But despite the childish spokes-tart, it's more useful to go back to the past...
In Baghdad, Saddam Hussein remained defiant. He said the "Mother of all Battles had begun". He urged the Iraqi people to "stand up to evil".
And today, as airstrikes return, the Mother of all Battles continues, against terrorists and former members of the old guard helping them:
It was not quite two years after a U.S.-led coalition drove Saddam out of Kuwait in Desert Storm, and al Douri was presiding over a hate-America conference for jihadists from all over the map. Chechens in Persian-lamb hats, Gulf Arabs in short thobes, North Africans in kaftans—radicals “from Jakarta to Dakar,” as one Senegalese delegate put it—had gathered (all expenses paid) at Baghdad’s enormous Rashid Hotel.
“Everyone has a task to do, which is to go against the American state,” al Douri proclaimed. The line against the USA would be drawn in Iraq, he said: “Our stand now can lead us to final victory, to Paradise.”
By this time Saddam had shed the Ba’athist ideology of secularism to embrace his own showy brand of Islamic radicalism. “God Is Great” written in Saddam’s hand was emblazoned on the national flag. Liquor was banned. Draconian punishments were meted out to supposed sinners and traitors. (Saddam especially liked to order tongues and ears cut off.) And al Douri proclaimed that the whole Islamic world would follow “the mujahed Saddam Hussein, who is leading this nation against the nonbelievers.”
As with times in the past, America is yawning.  But as the Butcher of Baghdad told US diplomat April Glaspie before the Gulf War in 1991, Iraq could not cross the ocean and attack America, but "individual Arabs" could--and they did.  And as the current situation in Iraq illustrates, they will try again. Let's hope our leadership can put aside politics long enough to understand their true responsibility to protect in this overall struggle.

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