Al Qaeda Conquers Fallujah; Iraq In Worse Shape Than Ever.

Al Qaeda and affiliated militant Islamic groups have seized the Iraqi city of Fallujah after 3 days of chaotic battle with Iraqi government forces. Reportedly, the black flag of Al Qaeda was raised over Iraqi governmental buildings, symbolizing the city’s fall. This is nearly 10 years to the month after Fallujah was first secured by US forces in a bloody four-day battle against militants.

As the Washington Post reports:

A rejuvenated al-Qaeda-affiliated force asserted control over the western Iraqi city of Fallujah on Friday, raising its flag over government buildings and declaring an Islamic state in one of the most crucial areas that U.S. troops fought to pacify before withdrawing from Iraq two years ago.

The capture of Fallujah came amid an explosion of violence across the western desert province of Anbar in which local tribes, Iraqi security forces and al-Qaeda-affiliated militants have been fighting one another for days in a confusingly chaotic three-way war.

In Fallujah, where Marines fought the bloodiest battle of the Iraq war in 2004, the militants appeared to have the upper hand, underscoring the extent to which the Iraqi security forces have struggled to sustain the gains made by U.S. troops before they withdrew in December 2011.

The upheaval also affirmed the soaring capabilities of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), the rebranded version of the al-Qaeda in Iraq organization that was formed a decade ago to confront U.S. troops and expanded into Syria last year while escalating its activities in Iraq. 

Few issues make my head shake as much as the issue of United States foreign policy. Fallujah was America’s Siege of Stalingrad, in a manner of speaking. Approximately 1/3 of the 4,486 US soldiers killed in Iraq died conquering and/or occupying Fallujah. It was a horrendous bloodbath for everyone involved. By the time the battle was through, Fallujah was reduced to little more than a smoldering pile of garbage.

Even if Iraqi government forces retake the city, it won’t matter. What matters is what this event represents. Under Saddam Hussein, Al Qaeda was a mere fringe bogeyman. Despite what Donald Rumsfeld wanted everyone to believe, Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda were not in bed; Hussein was actively COMBATING their influence. Saddam Hussein was certainly a monster, but he kept Iraq under control. The massive terror bombings we hear about now which kill and injure hundreds did not occur under Saddam. Now that Iraq has been “liberated” by the United States, Iraq had transitioned from a Police State into a Car-Bombings State. Do you think Iraqis preferred life under Saddam, or life in the New Iraq? An interesting question, to be sure. I suppose it would depend on who you ask. Individuals sympathetic to Al Qaeda are probably happy about his downfall.

Al Qaeda had little influence in Saddam-era Iraq. It had even less power. Only after the Hussein regime was deposed could Al Qaeda begin to take a foothold in Iraq. The American Invasion of Iraq brought Al Qaeda to power.  Before the invasion, Al Qaeda was nearly a non-factor; now, they are conquering entire regions.

The Iraq War was a farce in every respect of the term. Hussein didn’t have any weapons of mass destruction. He wasn’t working with Bin Laden. He was not a threat to the United States. Now he is gone, and Iraq is worse off than it was before. Now, Iraq could conceivably become a threat to the United States in the future, and it is our own fault. 4,486 dead US soldiers; what did they die for? The Mainstream Media will not say it because of the potential backlash, and American politicians will sure as hell never say it for similar reasons, so I will say it: They died for nothing. Their lives were wasted by George W. Bush and all the politicians who voted to authorize the war. It is an utter tragedy. Most people have figured this out by now. The life of Private Whoever from down-home Alabama was worth far more than the life of Saddam Hussein.

In an interview on National Public Radio, neoconservative political advisor Richard Perle was asked if he thought the invasion of Iraq, which he fiercely supported and agitated for, was worth it. He responded:

 “I’ve got to say I think that is not a reasonable question. What we did at the time was done in the belief that it was necessary to protect this nation. You can’t a decade later go back and say, well, we shouldn’t have done that.”

What an insufferable bonehead. This bozo won’t come to terms with reality. Richard Perle thinks it’s unreasonable to say “we shouldn’t have done it” in retrospect; but there were plenty of people before the invasion who were saying “we shouldn’t do this”. In the buildup to invasion, Ron Paul delivered multiple impassioned addresses to Congress laying out why the Iraq War was not only a bad idea, but also immoral (one of these speeches, in which he made numerous predictions which eventually more-or-less came true, went viral on Youtube). 10 years later, it is obvious to everyone that Ron Paul’s criticism was correct. Even still, mainstream Democrats and Republicans call Ron Paul’s views on foreign policy “crazy” and too extreme.

Barack Obama consistently opposed the invasion of Iraq; but he made his recent push for boots on the ground in Syria.  He was met with a great deal of opposition from the general public, and fortunately for us, he seems to have abandoned the idea (for now). Why Obama thought he could get that through is beyond me. America is war-weary. Americans are sick of being involved in foreign wars, especially in the Middle-East. Not sick enough to demand an unequivocal stop to endless war, but sick enough to not like hearing about it.

Even now as Iraq falls to pieces in front of everyone’s eyes, Neocons in America (such as John McCain and Bob Menendez) are pushing for sanctions and action against the ever-present neoconservative bogeyman: Iran. Neoconservative Senators from both major parties are putting all they’ve got into quashing one of the only positive aspects of Obama’s Presidency, which is a tentative normalization of relations with Iran. The recently introduced Nuclear Weapon-Free Iran Act of 2013 is one such attempt at re-invigorating the beat of the Iranian war drums. Do not be fooled by their rhetoric.

Remember Iraq.

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