October was Iraq’s deadliest month since April, 2008. In those five-and-a-half years, not only has there been no improvement in Iraq’s security situation, but things have gotten much worse. More than 1,000 people were killed in Iraq last month, the vast majority of them civilians. Another 1,600 were wounded, as car bombs, shootings, and other attacks continue to maim and murder.
As post-“liberation” Iraq spirals steadily downward, Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki was in Washington last week to plead for more assistance from the United States to help restore order to a society demolished by the 2003 U.S. invasion. Al-Qaeda has made significant recent gains, Maliki told President Barack Obama at their meeting last Friday, and Iraq needs more U.S. military aid to combat its growing influence.
Obama pledged to work together with Iraq to address al-Qaeda’s growing presence, but what was not said was that before the US attack there was no al-Qaeda in Iraq. The appearance of al-Qaeda in Iraq coincided with the U.S. attack. They claimed we had to fight terror in Iraq, but the U.S. invasion resulted in the creation of terrorist networks where before there were none. What a disaster.
Maliki also told President Obama last week that the war in next-door Syria was spilling over into Iraq, with the anti-Assad fighters setting off bombs and destabilizing the country. Already more than 5,000 people have been killed throughout Iraq this year, and cross-border attacks from Syrian rebels into Iraq are increasing those numbers. Again, what was not said was that the US government had supported these anti-Assad fighters both in secret and in the open for the past two years.
Earlier in the week a group of Senators – all of whom had supported the 2003 US invasion of Iraq – sent a strongly-worded letter to Obama complaining that Maliki was far too close to the Iranian government next door. What was not said was that this new closeness between the Iraqi and Iranian governments developed under the U.S.-installed government after the U.S. invasion of Iraq.
Surely there is plenty of blame that can be placed on Maliki and the various no-doubt corrupt politicians running Iraq these days. But how was it they came to power? Were we not promised by those promoting the war that it would create a beach-head of democracy in the Middle East and a pro-American government?
According to former Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill, in early 2001 as the new Bush administration was discussing an attack on Iraq, then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said, “Imagine what the region would look like without Saddam and with a regime that’s allied with U.S. interests. It would change everything in the region and beyond it. It would demonstrate what U.S. policy is all about.”
We see all these years later now how ridiculous this idea was.
I have long advocated the idea that since we just marched in, we should just march out. That goes for US troops and also for US efforts to remake Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and everywhere the neocon wars of “liberation” have produced nothing but chaos, destruction, and more US enemies overseas. We can best improve the situation by just leaving them alone.
The interventionists have unfortunately neither learned their lesson from the Iraq debacle nor have they changed their tune. They are still agitating for regime change in Syria, even as they blame the Iraqi government for the destabilization that spills over. They are still agitating for a U.S. attack on Iran, with Members of Congress introducing legislation recently that would actually authorize U.S. force against Iran.
It looks like a very slow learning curve for our bipartisan leaders in Washington. It’s time for a change.
Ron Paul is a former U.S. Congressman from Texas and the leader of the pro-liberty, pro-free market movement in the United States. His weekly column – reprinted with permission – can be found here.
More lucid commentary from the Doc. This man should be and deserves to be president.
Haters gonna hate.
The voters spoke and Ron Paul is NOT what they said.
Yeah..they said they wanted free shit, so they elected Santa Obama.
You mean the big banks spoke, and the sheeple turn to the media to be told what to think.
So, Dr. Paul refused to take money from lobbyists and the media purposely ignored him….cant win if nobody knows who you are.
Ron Paul was what this voter said CNSYD, And my vote happens to be the only vote that wasn’t purchased, or fraudulently cast. So it is the only vote that actually counts. Not to mention that my candidate Ron Paul was the ONLY candidate that stood out as the only one different in policy then the others. So then truly there was only two choices in that election. One – Ron Paul Two -The others.
Paul was never a real candidate. If he wanted to do something useful he could of filed impeachment papers against Obama and got rid of him then
He DID do plenty useful, WAY more than Romney or McCain ever did.
IN fact, all of the GOP candidates from last cycle were copy -catting everything from him….writing their own ‘end the fed books” even though Dr. Paul has been talking about it for 3 decades but better late than never.
Ron Paul: “I told you so.”
Why doesn’t “the doc” make any mention of the failure in Afghanistan? A war HE voted for?
Probably because he voted for it on the basis of taking out the terrorist training camps, and that was done.
He never intended it to be an occupation edict. (although in fairness to you, maybe he should have considered the history of the US empire in his deliberations)
Wrong. He voted for Authoritzation to hunt the people responsible for 9/11…that was it.
Get your facts straight and stop turning on your television to be told what to think.
He sought for letters of marque and reprisal be used as the authorization of force. Spending a few million on mercenaries to kill the terrorist perpetrators of 9/11 (even if they might have been puppets) is completely different from a trillion dollars and the clusterf*ck that ensued.
where are the WMD?
The Beqaa valley in Syria is where most of them went.
The whole yellow cake issue was a clearly a mistake – that said, Sadam, had the ability to create, deliver and deploy a variety of chemical weapons. How do we know – simple, he gassed the Iranians a number of times during the Iran-Iraq war and the Kurds on a number of occasions. The reason the Russians jumped on a chance to “help resolve” the Syrian chemical issue was because their fingers were all over the mess. http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/sep/18/inside-the-ring-syria-iraq-and-weapons-of-mass-des/?page=all
I for one think Iraq was a huge mistake in general. Our efforts there caused us to take our eye off the ball in Afghanistan and ultimately put us in an unwinnable position there. We should have targeted just Sadam and then let the Iraqis figure their own way out.
I like your posts and agree with you most of the time. What follows in not meant to discredit anything you have said but I do disagree with you that Iraq “caused us to take our eye off the ball in Afghanistan and ultimately put us in an unwinnable position there”.
I worked as a civilian contractor in Iraq. I worked primarily with US Marines and of course other civilians. Since leaving Iraq I have had a number of conversations with various military and civilian folks I met while there and a number of them have served/worked in Afghanistan also. They tell me the difference between the two is staggering. I know how bad/good it was in Iraq so when they described how poor the supply side of things were I could commiserate. They talked of how the operations are managed, sleeping conditions, bathrooms, showers, life in general and I truly believe the difference isn’t in “taking our eye off the ball”.
Afghanistan was a NATO managed operation, granted with mostly US officers, and Iraq was a US managed operation. In Iraq the troops were far better supplied, housed and generally taken care of than those in Afghanistan, this isn’t supposition this is from first hand accounts of people that have been to both places under similar deployed status. Even the food was different. In Iraq we had good and plenty food at all meals, they even looked the other way when guys would load their pockets to take back to their work areas. Not so good and plentiful in Afghanistan.
Also, there were a number of stories that did make the MSM about troops from various countries while in Afghanistan were given the less hazardous deployment areas and some countries even threatened to leave if they were deployed to the more hazardous areas.
My advise to US military planners, though I have no experience in such matters, in the future? Do not let NATO ever run another combat military operation in which US troop are involved. Even if it is US officers managing the NATO operation, there is something different in how those things go and NATO shouldn’t command.
Afghanistan was lost in early 2003. We (the US) had ALL of the Al Qaida and most of the Taliban in the Tora Bora Complex in 2001 and allowed them to escape through a series of errors that included relying on the “Afghan army”, relying on Pakistan to close their border and failure to use the appropriate weapons to seal the area including aerial delivered mines and the appropriate stand off attack weapons. Many of the Taliban went to ground and most of Al Qaida escaped. Things calmed down for a while.
Believing that we were good to go, in May of ’03 Rumsfeld declared victory and we shifted focus to Iraq relying on NATO to take over in Afghanistan. Beginning in March of 2003 the war we started began to be the be all and end all of our military focus, largely because it was OUR war. It is true that there were huge logistical disparities between Iraq and Afghanistan but the reason for that was focus – we wanted to whip Sadam and thought we’d already whipped Osama. I was here in ’03, ’09 and am here now for the last time – I’ve spent time in Iraq, Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan, Jordan, Qatar, UAE, Bahrain and a few other places.
There is no “winnable” position when fighting terror…it’s just another boogie man like “communism” was.
We went into Viet Nam under the geis of “OMG the world will be engulfed by communism if we don’t go in there and stop it, OMG!” and we killed a thousands of innocents, and lost 80,000 of our own troops, PLUS hundreds of thousands more with no vision, hearing, arms, legs, etc.
Then 60 days after we left, broke as a joke from all the money we spent on the war, the North Viet Namese marched in and took Saigon.
All for nothing.
Everytime we bomb 1 guy who wrote an email that may link him to Al Qaeda with a drone, we kill INNOCENT PEOPLE….and then their families become Al Qaeda.
You can’t win a war on terror, it’s a ridiculous agenda that can’t happen.
Terror is a tactic, not a country.
Yeah – okay a few corrections here – the US losses in Vietnam were 58,286 including those who died from conditions not related to combat. The first was probably LTC Peter Dewy, a member of the OSS killed by the Vietminh probably because
they had confused him for a French Officer. The first official deaths were MAJ Dale Buis and MSG Chester Ovnand who were killed in 1959 during a guerilla attack on Bienhoa. The last were Marines Corporals Charles McMahon and Darwin
Judge who were killed in Siagon on 29 April 1975.
As for the “…hundreds of thousands more with no vision,
hearing, arms, legs, etc…, there were only 2.6 million American Soldiers who actually fought in Vietnam. Of that number, there were just over 205,000 casualties of all types (deaths, wounds, illness) – back out the 58,286 killed and you have 155,000 Soldiers who were wounded but survived – there are certainly many who lost their vision, a limb or their hearing – but the number of all those combined hardly equates to “…hundreds of thousands…” – in fact it probably equals less than one hundred thousand.
You are correct that you can’t win a war on terror – you can however make life very painful for terrorist and those who support them.
I have used the term “Soldier” to describe all of the Soldiers, Sailors, Airman and Marines who fought – no slight was intended to any service.
*cough* cambodia *cough*
You have ZERO proof of this, just like Obama and McCain have ZERO proof that the gas used in Syria was by the Syrian government.
Stop falling for the same old propaganda they’ve been feeding you sheeple for 7 decades now.
I provided proof below 10 hours before you responded but since you brought it up:
That the weapons existed and were used against Iraq:
From the Iranian side: http://www.iranchamber.com/history/articles/chemical_warfare_iran_iraq_war.php
The British perspective on Sadam’s weapons: http://www.theguardian.com/world/iran-blog/2013/sep/02/iran-chemical-weapons-wmd-sanctions
From the “disinterested party” perspective: http://cns.miis.edu/npr/pdfs/81ali.pdf
Against the Kurds:
From the Kurd perspective: http://kdp.se/old/chemical.html
International perspective: http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/10/04/syria-crisis-chemical-iraq-idUSL5N0HF44920131004
Now that we’ve established that a – they existed and b – he had used them, let’s look at what happened to the capability:
Sadams Air Force Commander says it went to Syria: http://www.amazon.com/Saddams-Secrets-Georges-Hormuz-Sada/dp/1591454042
Israel’s Air Force Commander says they went to Syria:
Our own USNI “supposes” they were moved to Syria: http://blog.usni.org/2012/07/20/iraq-chemical-weapons-moved-to-syria-before-2003-invasion/
Funny thing is – now they’re being moved back:
So what? You’re missing the KEY point. Why did we go to war with Iraq? Why do we WANT to go to war with Iran? And what about Libya? Syria? Somalia?
What do they ALL have in common?
Since you like to find links, go find out about how ALL THESE COUNTRIES were threatening to move OFF of the petro dollar and begin trading in gold.
Something that would hurt the bankers that we bail out.
Follow the money trail and stop falling for all the propaganda.
You can post 1000 links about Saddam and it doesn’t prove ANYTHING.
Where’s the proof now? Iraq is even MORE unstable than before, and like Dr. Paul points out THERE WAS NO AL QAEDA THERE BEFORE WE INVADED!
Not to mention we did not have constituional authority to invade Iraq. Afghanistan, yes…Iraq, Pakistan, Libya, Yemen and Somolia, NO!
The point was that you challenged my assertion that Saddam’s weapons went to Syria and I readily demonstrated that that was exactly what happened. All Saddam had to do to turn the war off was open his borders and throw up his hands in welcome instead he played a bluff and wound up hanging in the basement of a building on the oddly appropriately named Camp Justice.
Now that you’ve lost that battle you’ve changed the subject and since you’ve gone there, there is far more there than the petro dollar issue than you seem to believe in.
In 2001 that wasn’t even a threat – our economy was in good shape and we weren’t $17 trillion in debt, in fact it’s really only been in the last few years that the whole petro dollar issue has come up.
What was at issue was pipelines, slant drilling, drying oil fields perceived politico military power and our (The US) ego.
You’ll never find a place where I wrote that Iraq was a good idea – you’ll also find that I won’t generally let patently false assertions stand when they are the basis of an argument. Saddam Hussein possessed and used chemical weapons. Some of those weapons wound up in the hands of the Syrians. Some of those weapons were developed with the aid of Russia and Germany. Petro Dollars were not the issue in our invasion of Iraq despite William Clark’s strongest desires.
Oh, I’ve personally seen all the proof I need to know that chemical weapons were used in Syria and I’ve personally seen sufficient evidence that the weapons were launched by Assad’s forces – that said, the US has no compelling national interest in Syria and we need to stay the Hell out.
I didn’t say chemicals were NOT used in Syria, I said who used them? There is NO evidence. Now if you want to believe John Kerry and Obama you go ahead, but I will choose to believe the people who are NOT tied to lobbyists and big banks like both Pauls.
Again the evidence I’ve seen and the evidence that the UN collected points at the Assad regime. All of that is independent of Kerry, Obama, the Pauls and John McCain for that matter. I don’t place a great deal of trust in the UN’s findings (they have refused to place blame) but having examined their evidence and other sources, my conclusion is it was Assad’s troops. At least one of the attacks was a missile attack requiring launchers that Assad is known to possess and we don’t have evidence that the rebels have any.
All of that said – I still wouldn’t give ten cents for all of Syria – we have no compelling national interest to get involved in Syria.
Then why don’t you look BEYOND the corporate owned media?
There are DOZENS of reports with ACTUAL eyewitnesses, photographs and other REAL evidence that suggests it was not only the rebels, but that the rebels had help from outside sources, mainly Israel.
Israel is known for committing these acts, like when they assassinated Iran’s nuclear scientists.
There is a whole world out there outside of CNN, MSNBC, and FOX.
This world revealed to us that MAJOR, and intensified terror attacks were imminent. They also warned of Glass-Steagle being repealed and the economic reprocussions. They also warned of the bailouts and quantitative easing. They also warned of the dollar losing value exponentially.
All the while, CNN and FOX were literally LAUGHING IN THE FACES at the people who tried desperately to warn us!
All I’m saying is, there is absolutely NO MOTIVE for Assad to do what he claims, plus when is the last time a dictator DENIED using weapons?
The first thing that happens after a terror attack since the 50’s is 25 terror groups take credit.
Why would Assad lie? Why would he use chemicals? His Army is winning the war.
Iran is a whole other story, but I have a feeling that you believe people like McCain on that issue too…they’re such a BIG eveil threat right?
Well the same media I spoke of before claims over and over and over (like the threat of communism in the 60’s) that Iran threatened to “wipe Israel off the map”.
And yes I believed it too, until I dug into the resources outside of the mainstream media.
He said nothing of the sort. I even consulted a man I work with who speaks Farsi.
Wow, you consulted a man who speaks Farsi!!! I have a whole civic engagement team at my disposal who speak Farsi, Pashtun and half a dozen other languages.
They all agree with you – Dinner Jacket didn’t say “wipe Israel off the map” what he said was “…This regime that is occupying Qods [Jerusalem] must be eliminated from the pages of history.” They all agree with the translation provided by the official Iranian Students News Agency. All that said there’s not a lot of difference there.
“Why would Assad lie” – really? Maybe he overplayed his hand and needed to real it back in – maybe the Russians told him to deny it. Winning is relative – the longer it takes his forces to crush the rebellion, the weaker his position becomes.
Most Iranians bear us no ill will – it’s the regime that is a threat but Iran will never be able to field the armies they did in the ’80s, the students won’t stand for it. For the record, I watch more Al Jazeera than Fox. I might have seen 30 minutes of CNN in the last 5 months
You have a whole lot of conspiracy theories rolling around in your head – I wonder how you sleep at night.
Pay attention sheep….
That is NOT what “Dinner Jacket” said. You got part of it right but it’s “…..the Imam wishes the actions of the regime would be stricken from history…”
THEN he went onto to say “The only way we can achieve peace, is if the Palestinians get a voice and be heard as loud as Irsrael.”
They wish they could erase all the bad blood between them, so that Palestine can have a say in what goes on in the region, instead of being pushed around militarily with no discussion about it.
You are like most sheep, and worship the media culture. This is why we had people running around deathly afraid of “Japs” and the “communists” and now its the big, bad “terrorists.”
There were NO Al Qaeda in Iraq prior to the day we invaded by the way….and if you gave an AK-47 to every member of the community college right up the road from me, we’d have a force TWICE AS BIG AS AL QAEDA.
But I will get back to Iran. They are NOT a threat! Unless you weren’t paying attention, the government has been saying Iran is close to having nuclear weapons for almost TWO DECADES! I guess by close they meant your great grandchildren would be in danger??
The last time Iran was on the OFFENSIVE of any conflict, was 250 years ago. Since then though, they have been attacked EIGHT TIMES! And during THREE of those conflicts, the United States intervened either with military force, weapons, or funding Iran’s enemy, regardless of who they are.
The U.S. also OVERTHREW THEIR GOVERNMENT without ANY provocation whatsoever in 1959. Iran was doing nobody any harm, especially any allies of the U.S.
Oh yeah, and the ONLY COUNTRY IN HISTORY to use nuclear device in war is the United States of America, yet we think we can tell everyone around the world who can and can’t have them.
I said you have no PROOF the weapons went there, and despite the myriad of links, you still did not PROVE it.
I’m not here to win or lose battles, but to wake the sheeple up who believe everything they hear from CNN or FOX.
I’m not changing the subject at all, I’m putting the conversation on point where it belongs.
There have been MANY MANY atrocities around the world in Greece, Egypt, China, Africa, to name a few….so WHY THEN do we mess with the middle east so much?
What do they ALL have in common? Well I already told you….they threatened or flat out stopped bargaining with the dollar and began to use gold.
It’s a fact, and it’s not anyones DESIRE, I can’t even believe you said that. We WISH we were wrong about everything, but facts are facts.
Yep, that’s why we went to war in WW1, Viet Nam, and Iraq….that attitude right there.
Only believe the mainstream media, regardless of their bias, corporate ownership, and known corruption….I will keep believing the TRUE PATRIOTS that didn’t come to Washington to get rich.
I bet you also think Iran is a nuclear threat too?
Way to parrot the establishment.
No, there is no evidence to support the suspicion that Saddam had a developed nuclear program. There was evidence that he had looked at dirty bombs but no country in their right or wrong mind would have sold him the precursors for a nuclear program.
Thanks for that illuminating post Captain Obvious.
“Mission Accomplished.” Or maybe not.