The Root of Our Foreign Policy Blunders


And so the inevitable is unfolding: a possible collapse of the U.S.-imposed Iraqi state, the apparent triumph of the most brutal extremists in the world, and more to come in Syria, Afghanistan, and possibly Jordan, Mali, Libya, and who knows where else. The first step to recovery — if recovery is even feasible — is an honest reckoning of why this is happening.

The discourse in Washington, as always, will be superficial, partisan, and knowledge-free. The blaming of Obama for leaving Iraq in 2011 will be the Fox News mantra of coming days and weeks (and, judging from the Benghazi flap, for years). Even theNew York Times on Wednesday morning — reporting that the forces of the extremists, the Islamic State of Syria and Iraq, or ISIS, had overrun Mosul and were headed toward Baghdad — mentioned that this was another blow to the White House’s faltering foreign policy. But while Obama has his share of missteps, the responsibility for this catastrophe rests with the neocons of the George W. Bush years and the liberal hawks who can’t help but propose war when they see a wrong that needs righting.

Middle East historian Juan Cole explains the tumultuous history in his excellent blog, and makes the useful point that the Iraqi Parliament had rejected the U.S. proposal to keep a residual force in Iraq beyond 2011. Their rejection was rooted in eight years of mayhem that the U.S. invasion wrought. As I have argued exhaustively, the scale of killing was enormous — likely 600,000 or more Iraqis died in those years as a direct result of the war. That and displacement and impoverishment create and sustain bitterness that no amount of training and equipping the Iraqi army can salve. Many people would ask me why the mortality figures were so important (and a source of contention). This is why. The country was left a ruin, torn by sectarian politics and crippled by mistrust and fear and death. It is easy prey for the jihadists.

The second charge against Obama is that he failed to arm the moderate rebels in Syria, thereby giving the extremists an advantage. Obama should not have encouraged rebellion.

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  • Ryan

    Since the whole POINT of the wars of aggression was to ensure safety and security of ISRAEL, it is going to plan. “the responsibility for this catastrophe rests with the neocons of the George W. Bush years” …. but since neocons are Jewish TOOLS ……..
    NeoCon was INVENTED by Irving Kristol, a TROTSKYITE COMMUNIST.
    NeoCon is COMMUNISM wrapped in an American flag.
    NeoCons refuse to WEAR an American uniform ….
    they just wrap themselves in the flag and send YOU and YOURS to be maimed and killed.
    Today’s American NeoCons are yesterday’s Jewish Bolsheviks. SAME THING.
    The whole neocon-thing is nothing but a Zionist takeover of the conservative US establishment
    WHY did American “conservatives” allow a Jewish COMMUNIST to lead them away from putting AMERICA FIRST, SECOND, and THIRD in their priority list? Israel is NOT AMERICA and is NOT our “ally”. Israel is a SOCIALIST/COMMUNIST/TRIBE.

    “Once we squeeze all we can out of the United States, it can dry up and blow away.” — A comment made by Benjamin Netanyahu to Jonathan Pollard (convicted traitor and spy) upon exiting Pollard’s jail cell.

  • come-and-take-it

    The alternate view is that the banking interests are still wanting to see the Middle East become a source of revenue for them to bleed. The banking interests are admittedly mostly Jews, so Ryan’s point is worth noting, but the Obama foreign policy is the Bush foreign policy redux.

    The banking, political and corporate oligarchy is bent upon control of the resources across the Middle East (and Ukraine). Afghanistan will eventually fall heir to the same fate. ISIS is just a tool used by the covert interests controlling the US government to accomplish what a non-existent and illegitimate foreign policy won’t. The CIA developed it to replace the failed Al Qaeda fighters and to apply another layer of deniability to the real masters in this sick play. Iraq falling to a well armed group of henchmen driving new Toyota pickups and SUVs should be a signal to all that the “Islamic terrorists” aren’t an upstart bunch of religious fanatics.

  • mike k.

    Read “the lie factory” from mother jones or “the machiavellian three fold game of the neocons” at voltairenet – Ryan’s basically right. It was neocons – meaning Zionists – in the government and media that lied us into Iraq, who tried to lie us into Syria, and who keep moving the goalposts and trying to lie us into Iran, all for Israel. All whileensuring the media ignores IDF and settler crimes, and pretending Israel wants peace as it builds its apartheid colony.

    The us has a Jewish (mostly) Zio 5th column, and they want more war and more financial aid and NSA “raw data” for the land of their primary loyalty.

    But all these traitors and war mongers have to do is use the media and rich donors to cry ‘antisemite’ and we can’t even discuss the obvious truth. They are liars and hypocrites, but we are cowards for letting that silly word prevent much needed discussion of Jewish Zionist power, war mongering and Treason because many Jews really are more loyal to Israel than the countries they have grown so dispriportionately wealthy and powerful in.

    Rebellious? Not at all. And who is the HuffPo news editor?

  • evader2014

    The antidepressants are inflicting cognitive impairment on US regime functionaries, causing one foreign policy fiasco after another.