On May 1, 2003, George W. Bush landed on an aircraft carrier and gave a televised speech with a big banner behind him that read “Mission Accomplished”. That was over 11 years ago.
If his mission was to raise oil prices, it was accomplished.
If his mission was to kill hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, it was accomplished.
If his mission was to drain trillions of dollars from American taxpayers and holders of U.S. dollars, it was accomplished.
If his mission was to completely upend a country into chaos, it was accomplished.
If his mission was to virtually eliminate Christianity in Iraq, it was accomplished.
I have seen signs with Bush’s face saying “Miss me yet?”.
Sorry, but I really don’t.
A Legacy of Death and Destruction
As much of a disaster as Obama is, Bush’s wars are a legacy of death and destruction. Obama has also reigned down death and destruction, but to a much lesser degree.
Bush, the supposed Christian, managed to create something of an Islamic state inside Iraq, with Christians being forced to leave or go underground or die. Christians lived in Iraq and were tolerated under Saddam Hussein.
I remember listening to all of the war apologists, even years after the Iraq war had started. The place was in total chaos, but I listened to many conservatives defend Bush and his policies to no end. Anyone who opposed the Iraq war was labeled “unpatriotic”, “not supporting the troops”, or an “appeaser”. People like Sean Hannity would ask callers, “so you believe that Iraq was better off under Saddam Hussein?”
Of course, this is a false question.
It doesn’t matter if Iraq was better off under Saddam Hussein. The question is whether the price was worth it. That is not just a price in dollars, but a price in lives. It is not just a price in American lives, but also for the hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis who have died. And the millions of Iraqis that saw their homes and businesses destroyed.
Ironically, the question about whether Iraq is better off without Saddam is quite obvious now.
Saddam Hussein was probably about the best that Iraq could hope for. He was made out to be a tyrant. He was a tyrant in so far as most politicians are tyrants. The people that Saddam supposedly killed were people who were trying to overthrow him. Are there any politicians in this world who wouldn’t kill a bunch of people who were trying to overthrow them?
This is no defense of Saddam, but Iraq was a relatively thriving place before. There is not a lot of libertarian philosophy going on in Iraq. In a choice between a little bit of tyranny and total chaos, most people would rather a little tyranny. That’s what life was like under Saddam.
Total chaos has now descended upon Iraq. It was inevitable. It is incredible that many Bush backers still defend this. They blame Obama for this chaos, for a war that was started over 11 years ago.
It’s true that there probably wouldn’t be as much chaos if Obama had left tens of thousands of troops in Iraq. But that would have just delayed the inevitable.
The Bush apologists must believe that the U.S. government should keep troops in Iraq for hundreds of years.
To be clear, Obama did not completely abandon Iraq. There are still U.S. personnel there. There is a massive American Embassy in Iraq. The latest news is that Obama is deploying a few hundred troops to Iraq to provide support and security for American personnel. I suppose Obama does not want to be seen as weak or doing nothing. Obama is weak, but not for this reason.
The pro-war Republicans will defend Bush and his foolish wars forever, no matter how bad things get and no matter how obvious it is that the whole thing is a disaster. They will always blame someone else.
It is actually similar to how many Democrats will never admit that Obamacare is already a failure. They will blame Republicans or whoever else for it not working the way it should.
At least many Democrats at least try to avoid the subject of Obamacare. It seems that some Republicans are bringing attention to Iraq in an attempt to criticize Obama.
Apologize and Move On
I suppose the so-called mainstream news will forget about Iraq in a few weeks, even if the chaos is still raging. Maybe the Republicans who reminisce for Bush will stay quiet about Iraq once it drops off from the headlines.
The only thing the U.S. government should do now is to completely leave Iraq and apologize for the past. Anything beyond that can only cause more problems.
It is ironic that the U.S. government is now considering backing Iran. Meanwhile, it is having to oppose some of the same people that it supported in Syria.
The U.S. government supported Iraq and Saddam Hussein in the 1980’s and then later turned him into an enemy.
The U.S. also supported Osama bin Laden, who later became an enemy.
This time, the U.S. is supporting and opposing the same groups of people simultaneously. This is complete madness. Before you know it, we may see U.S. troops fighting each other. We’ll have one group for Syrian freedom, one group for Iraqi freedom, and another group for Iranian freedom. Will this madness ever end?
There are some people who believe war is the answer to almost every problem in the world. Violence cannot bring peace. Violence usually leads to more violence. More Americans are beginning to understand this. I hope it is enough to prevent another full-scale war in Iraq.