Iraq: Mission (Not) Accomplished
Nearly 900 civilians and more than 4,000 members of Iraq’s security forces have been killed over the last six months – including the daughter and 11-month-old grandson of local sheik Mahmoud Abdel Rahman.
Rahman’s relatives were killed Monday – along with more than fifty others – when a coordinated series of car bombs went off in mostly Shiite neighborhoods in and around Baghdad. Behind the attacks? Insurgents linked to al-Qaeda – who have an interest in stoking tensions between Shiites and Sunni Muslims and bringing the nation back to the brink of civil war.
The last time this happened the U.S. government – under the leadership of former president George W. Bush – announced a surge of American troops into Iraq with the goal of making the country a sustainable democracy and an “ally in the War on Terror.”
“Our troops will have a well-defined mission: to help Iraqis clear and secure neighborhoods, to help them protect the local population, and to help ensure that the Iraqi forces left behind are capable of providing the security that Baghdad needs,” Bush said.
Yeah … mission NOT accomplished.
Bush’s surge was “reluctantly” carried forward by U.S. President Barack Obama, who last month went to the mat in an effort to get U.S. forces to fight with al-Qaeda in Syria.
Wonder why that happened?
A total of 4,486 American soldiers died in Iraq from 2003-2012. Thousands more were wounded and/ or returned home suffering from the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder.
And for what? Seriously … what did these troops fight and die for?
Meanwhile U.S. taxpayers shelled out $1.7 trillion in borrowed dollars to fund the war effort – and owe an additional $500 billion in benefits to veterans (a figure which is expected to skyrocket in the coming years).
Again … why? What did we spend all of that money for?
Recent events have demonstrated beyond a shadow of a doubt that Iraq is not safe … for democracy or anything else. And it was foolish for America’s leaders to think they could make it that way. Oh, and as for the oft-proclaimed “dismantling” of al-Qaeda as a global terror threat?
It’s looking increasingly as though America’s leaders may have jumped the gun on that assessment, too.
“Core al-Qaeda is a shell of its former self,” Obama said back in May, boasting that its “remaining operatives spend more time thinking about their own safety than plotting against us.”
Maybe so … but somebody forgot to tell that to the Baghdad bombers.
The bottom line is things are once again falling apart in Iraq: the country America spent thousands of lives and hundreds of billions of dollars propping up as a “partner” in the War on Terror.
But hey let’s go invade another Middle Eastern nation, right? Right?