Friday, August 22, 2014
Losing the third Iraq war
So far the US has fought two wars with Iraq. The first waged under Bush #1, the second under Bush #2. We could be getting round three. The first ended with the defeat of Saddam without toppling him. The second occupied Iraq and created a relatively stable country. But then Obama pulled all the troops out, giving the US no leverage over subsequent events. And when the newborn Iraqi leaders were unable to unite the disparate tribes, there was no one to set things right.
That's when Islam reasserted itself in the form of ISIS, and announced the creation of the Caliphate.
As long as ISIS was lopping off the heads of Iraqi government supporters and exterminating Christians, the people who set the agenda for discussion in the US didn't care. But all of a sudden they picked on the wrong victim, a tribe no one had ever heard of who ran to shelter in a barren mountain. Now that's the sort of thing that can get the NPR types exercised. And the media noticed so Obama had to notice.
And it's made a difference. A poll that shows 54% of Americans backing airstrikes on ISIS is exactly equal to the 54% who opposed direct military action in June.
Why only 54% wishing to do anything to oppose ISIS? In my opinion there are two reasons. The first one is that the war in Iraq has been vilified by the Democrats and the media even more than the war in Viet Nam. It takes courage today to come out and say you supported the war and continue to support it.
But there’s a second reason, and that ‘s Obama’s demonstrated that he has a reverse Midas Touch. There is nothing that I can think of that Obama has done that has not made events worse.
The big issues of the day: the economy, domestic politics, foreign relations, race relations, government corruption have been made worse, much worse, by the Obama administration. Wars, to be fought successfully, must be waged as much by a united people as by troops in the battlefield. At this stage of this presidency, this inconceivable that Obama could pull the American people together. And don’t forget that the military is being decimated even as Hagel and Dempsey are talking of war.
Let us pray that the enemy will give us time to find new and more inspired leadership.