With all the news about Iraq, I thought it might be interesting to reread Bob Woodward's The War Within to remind myself of where we were then.
In the summer of 2006 the Bush administration was facing a failed effort in Iraq. Daily bombings by insurgents made life a living hell for people in Baghdad. The administration was beginning to recognize that Nouri al-Maliki was not leading a government of reconciliation, but was using his power to come down hard on Sunni's and allowing Shia militia's to freely execute anyone they pleased. General Casey was still saying that everything was moving along toward withdrawal and toward the Iraqi's assuming responsibility for security, but everyone had stopped believing him. Condoleeza Rice knew that the Iraq policy was a shambles and Rumsfeld was losing status within the administration. Bush still talked of winning and the need for it in global terms, but he was starting to be aware that his policies were failing. His approval rating was down to 37%. Iraq was descending into civil war. There were arguments over whether a surge of more troops would rectify the situation along with a call to put the entire United States on a "war footing." However, the midterm elections were looming big in everyone's mind and decisions were crafted with that in mind.
Eight years later we are once again in a similar situation. Nouri al-Maliki is still Prime Minister and he still has made little effort to form a government bringing together the Kurds, Sunni's, and Shia. The insurgency is better organized and funded now than it was eight years ago and has strong ties to Syrian rebels. Once again Iraq is on the verge of all out civil war. One new wrinkle is the insurgents' stated aim to stage terrorist attacks outside the country, but that may be just bravado. Slowly the United States is being dragged into another war in Iraq against the insurgents—insurgents that we helped to boost by bad decisions early in the first war. Iraq War II is on its way and is likely to have strong conservative support.
I see your concern and it does appear that not much has changed. We get told stupid reasons as to why we are in any war anywhere in the world, but I suppose there was a profit to be made. How else could I see America fighting in Iraq or Afghanistan? Why would I be as ignorant as some who think we are over there to give those people our precious form of government and democracy? Who in the hell are we to even hint at a fact that we were meant to do so?
Notice how religion almost comes in there. Not fully, but "almost." Most of us can see Iraq War II coming and Obama saying it won't be that way. If he's really lucky this can be avoided on his watch and come in fully strong under our next president, whoever that might be. But it is coming because our leaders are dividing as "religious" and "not religious." That seems to be the trend. It makes the batshit crazy ones even think they are "ushering in the end times" (helping Jesus) so they want to be a part of this. I've never seen more insanity in my lifetime.
The only reason I can see to go ahead is to protect America from attack in the future and divert nuclear weapons from the wrong hands. My fear is that this will go on until we have an all out nuclear attack, and none of that will be pretty.
The fundy theist will be happy that "Jesus is coming soon." The reality is that the only ones who might possibly be coming is the enemy. Manipulated by myth and politics (both are much the same) mankind then discovers that they are the enemy. They always were.
THank you for the history lession.
Wouldn't the next be Iraq War III?
I agree with Michael about the profit motive. At this point in my life, I've lost all trust in the politicians and business people who control the fate of the country and much of the world. I'm so disillusioned.