Let the Good Times Roll: Obama Considers Troops in Iraq.

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President Obama, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, has reportedly told Congressional leaders he may order approximately 100 US Special Forces members into Iraq, ostensibly to train and aid the conventional Iraqi military force. Presently, the civil war in Iraq pits the Al Qaeda-affiliated Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), comprised of mostly Sunni Islamist militants, against the Iraqi government and military, comprised of mostly Shi’ite Muslims.

As Fox News reports:

President Obama huddled with top congressional leaders on Wednesday to discuss ramping up U.S. involvement in the Iraq crisis, and is said to be leaning toward sending U.S. special forces into the country… Such a contingent presumably would be sent to help train the Iraqi military and boost intelligence available to the Iraqis. 

More broadly, the Obama administration is pressing for Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to take steps to make his Shiite-dominated government more inclusive. Obama said last week that any short-term U.S. military actions in Iraq would not be successful unless they were accompanied by political changes by the government in Baghdad. 

The efforts of U.S. intelligence have been hindered by the withdrawal of American forces from Iraq in 2011 and the ongoing Syrian civil war, which has left large parts of both countries off-limits to operatives. 

Boots on the ground in Iraq, only two years after leaving? Whaddya know! I guess the good times never have to end.

First, they send “advisors” to train the Iraqi military. This is how it begins. It will soon become clear to everyone that the incompetent Iraqi military is incapable of fighting guerrillas that are committed to their cause, which is the establishment of an Islamic State dominated by Sunnis. The US military will then be sent in to bomb the hell out of Iraq for the umpteenth time in 20 years, before making an all-out invasion. This will do little to deter ISIS militants, of whom many are battle-hardened guerrillas with plenty of experience evading and outmaneuvering conventional air and ground military forces. They will hide out in the shadows and fight an endless war of attrition. We have the watches, but the militants will have the time. Billions more dollars will be wasted and thousands of lives will be squandered. The images of flag-draped coffins and sobbing widows will once again fill the news media. The war will further alienate Islamic populations. More and more militants will join the Al-Qaeda cause as the never-ending “War on Terror” increasingly takes on a holy war vibe. More corrupt and careless dictators will be put into power by the US government, further alienating the populace and fueling the conflict. Neoconservative politicians will pretend like nothing is wrong, and liberal politicians will pretend to be anti-war while never actually doing anything about it. All the while, they will both salute “our fallen heroes” with wistful tributes while never actually giving a damn about soldiers in the least. After all, it’s not themselves or their own sons and daughters going off to fight their war, which will drag on for years to come.

…OR…

…Or we can stay out of what is happening in Iraq, and the above scenario can be avoided in its entirety. I know letting the civil war take its course basically flies in the face of everything the US military worked for over the past 10 years. But the US military should not have been in Iraq to begin with. I have discussed this numerous times. At first, we were told that invading Iraq was necessary because Saddam had WMDs; that was totally false. Then neoconservatives tried to justify the invasion by saying things like “we took out a brutal dictator.” And that has helped Iraq how, exactly? Al Qaeda and associated militants were mere fringe bogeymen in Saddam-era Iraq. He had their influence effectively locked out. It took the US invasion to bring Al-Qaeda to power in Iraq. I have no doubt that what the current Iraqi Civil War is our own government’s fault. The US government created its own monster.

Whether they choose to invade or not, the US government looks like a jackass. Either they invade to prop up the inept Iraqi government, which is basically an admission of failure for the government they spent a decade building and funding; or the US government does not invade, and Iraq falls to pieces while the rest of the world watches. The rest of the world will see once again that the USA invades other countries only to smash their society to bits and turn them into nations of bedraggled hobos.

Personally, I want the latter choice. It does not require US lives or money to be wasted. All we have to do is watch the dissolution of Iraq on TV. Let Iraq fall to pieces, literally; Iran will prop up a Shi’ite nation in the east, Al-Qaeda militants will erect an Islamic state in the west, and the Kurds will finally establish the long-overdue Kurdistan in the north (unless they get wiped out by ISIS). Iraq was always just a Frankenstein’s monster of rival ethnic identities hammered together by the British, anyway. It was never built to last.

Iraq is a basket case. It’s a long ways away from ever becoming a stable and prosperous place to live. There is no stable legal tradition in Iraq; the British were unfortunately not able to imbue Common Law into Iraqi society during the colonial years. There is no free-market tradition in Iraq; every political faction of any significance in Iraq opposes the free market and supports Socialism in some form or another (this includes the Al-Qaeda factions). The further away we stay away from this nonsense, the better.

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