Trump’s visit to Iraq and Washington’s never-ending war in the Middle East
28 December 2018
Donald Trump’s brief, unannounced visit to Iraq on the day after Christmas was staged with a patent political motive. His appearance with assembled troops—for a grand total of 45 minutes—was aimed at shoring up support within the Pentagon as well as among rank-and-file soldiers in the wake of the resignation in protest of his defense secretary, Gen. James Mattis, following Trump’s decision to withdraw US troops from Syria.
The performance was the latest in a long line of such trips, beginning with one staged by George W. Bush just a year after the US launched its catastrophic and criminal war against Iraq.
Like Trump, Bush and his successor, Barack Obama, saw the utility of appearing before captive uniformed audiences, bound by military discipline to cheer at the appropriate moments for speeches riddled with lies and stupidities in defense of unending wars of aggression opposed by the majority of the population.
Improbably dressed in a bomber jacket, the New York real estate speculator-turned president gave a performance in line with this tradition, though somewhat more buffoonish. He marveled at having to fly into Iraq under the cover of darkness with the lights off and window shades down on Air Force One, which was heavily escorted by US fighter planes.
“Pretty sad when you spend $7 trillion in the Middle East and going in has to be under this massive cover,” Trump stated.
The results of a quarter-century of US war in the Middle East are “pretty sad” indeed. Aside from vast resources spent in the US imperialist effort to dominate the region, there are the consequences for those who live there, over a million of whom lost their lives as a consequence of Washington’s…