From that forgotten, no longer Central Front on the War on Terror, an update:
… Iraq has become a guinea pig for its leaders to test which security measures will succeed in stopping the mass killings of Iraqis. This, after 400 Iraqis were killed in three high-profile bombings during the last five months of last year. […]
[A]s bases close and American units leave Iraq under the security agreement that went into effect last June, the Iraqi government seems to have sabotaged that achievement. It has conducted a systematic arrest campaign against the Sons of Iraq (although I am not saying that all those who joined the Awakening Councils were innocent), and, in what I believe is a mistake, the government has released of leaders of what is called the League of the Righteous, an Iranian-backed splinter group of the Mahdi Army. […]
There is no doubt that the United States military has passed through a bitter experience in Iraq from the beginning of the invasion in 2003, until 2007. But after 2007 it found the key to decreasing violence, and in the following years Iraq was more secure, enjoying a margin of stability for a short period of time. [emphasis added]
Yes, for “a short period of time” the “surge” worked to create a “margin of stability.” And if we had infinite military and economic resources to keep pouring into Iraq no doubt that slightly safer, slightly more stable period could have been extended indefinitely. But we never had those resources. And the war in Iraq has lessened the power and resources the US once had to pursue those small but unfortunately effective (thanks to our overreaction to 9/11) bands of gangsters and thugs who do use terrorism as a tactic in an effort to obtain their goals.
Iraq was never the “Central Front” in any war on terror. It was just a place where we deposed a Sunni dictator who posed little threat to the US or its allies with a fractured sectarian government mostly controlled by vengeful Shi’ites and opportunists eager to take our money and have US troops kill, and be killed by, their sectarian rivals. When we added lots if troops and paid off the former Sunni insurgents with no direct ties to Al Qaeda, we were “successful” in lowering the level of violence. But that is all we accomplished and only for a “short time.”
Was it worth all the havoc we created when Congress authorized Bush to have his way with Iraq, unfettered by any limitations on his Executive powers to use the US Military and the US Intelligence Community as his and Cheney’s personal play toys? Was it worth all the millions of individuals whose lives were lost and destroyed either because they were killed, maimed or forced to become refugees? Was all the upheaval in the region we stirred up worth the end result?
Well, as George W. Bush noted, history will be the final judge, and by then we’ll all be dead. But if I were given a vote now, it’s very clear to me that the invasion and occupation of Iraq was a complete and utter folly, the kind of folly that politicians who believe war and military force can solve all problems are prone to make. The kind of folly that history shows us greedy, ignorant, paranoid, ideological and/or power obsessed rulers make on a regular basis.
And yes, my title is meant to be ironic. No single individual can be blamed for all the mistakes America made over the last decade in the world, but Dick sure gets the lion’s share of the discredit in my book. That he is still given a prominent platform by the American News Media to continue spewing his relentless output of lies and horse manure, that some in our populace still consider him a great man, or otherwise feel so threatened by him that they keep silent in the face of his public campaign of reckless and deceitful propaganda is a measure of how low we have fallen as a nation and a people in the world.