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article imageOp-Ed: Iraq and the failure of interventionism

By Ben Morris     Jun 22, 2014 in Politics
Baghdad - Iraq is in the news once again. With the ISIS taking over towns and cities all over Iraq with little resistance, neo cons are calling for more war. History shows those actions are a sampling of how intervention rarely ever works.
Saddam Hussein was a madman who brutally killed political opponents with impunity. The world does not miss him, but when he was removed from power and executed, what played out was a story that has repeated time after time with the exact same result. Instability in the invaded countries has come at the cost of thousands of lives, trillions of dollars, and violent political turmoil that will not end with more invading soldiers.
Throughout America’s history, the Middle East has been an open door for successive American presidents to invade sovereign countries in order for political or financial gain. That political gain was taken after the Second World War when Americans, and the British took massive quantities of Middle Eastern oil. By 1955, American oil companies had control of half of the region’s oil, supplying 90 percent of the imports to Europe. Through regime changes in Iraq, America made deal after deal to secure profits for American energy companies.
In exchange for oil, Hussein was given $40 billion in weaponry by the Reagan administration. Mere years after a revolution removed a dictator installed by Eisenhower, Iran was the enemy America had to exterminate, and when the Iranian- Iraqi war started in 1980, American took a side. In 1988 Hussein was given intelligence that told him where Iranian troops were moving, allowing a chemical weapons attack that killed nearly 20,000 Iranian troops. Those chemical agents were given to Hussein on a bow, with the help of Donald Rumsfeld.
Twenty years later, the same people who shook hands with Hussein claimed he had a stockpile of chemical weapons, and was involved in 9/11. When those excuses were revealed as lies, Hussein was a bad man who had to be removed. Yet, one major player who pushed those lies, and told Americans the war was going to be easy, spoke prophetic words in 1994. Dick Cheney warned of ousting Hussein by saying, “pieces of Iraq will fall off,” into sectarian countries swallowed up by Iran and Syria. That Dick Cheney went hunting with the Cheney of 2003, and was shot in the face, leaving America with the warmongering, psychopathic V.P who crossed every line to fight terrorism.
Eleven years after the invasion of Iraq, the country is not the beacon of democracy many of those who supported the invasion claimed it would be. One Iraqi author said, “Iraq is less safe for the average Iraqi citizen.” According to Zaid Al-Ali, Iraqi’s have suffered under a government that is “never held accountable for their appalling performance.”
Nouri Al-Maliki was elected under the promise of pulling Shiites, Sunni’s and Kurds together in a unified country. Many within the Kurdish, and Sunni communities feel left out in the desert sun, and Al-Maliki’s lack of representative government helped create the mess that has become Iraq. This is exactly what the Cheney of 1994 warned about if Hussein was removed after the Gulf War.
Maliki became a pro Shiite leader who arrested Sunni tribal leaders and took control of a protest camp, in a strong armed attempt to maintain control. Many within the country, and those in Washington believe Maliki is governing solely for Shiite population, and now Sunni militants are seizing town after town in an attempt to tear down the government. The Iraqi soldiers tasked with fighting the insurgency have dropped their weapons refusing to fight for a man who they don't feel represents them.
Thousands of American soldiers lost their lives fighting for a country that did not attack them. Thousands more left behind limbs, to go along with the thousands of Iraqi’s who perished in the war. The invasion and rebuilding has cost taxpayers $1.7 trillion dollars, that is not counting the cost of veterans benefits in the upcoming decades. While Americans were losing their jobs, their houses, and financial stability, their money was going overseas to bomb and rebuild a country in a war so many Americans feel was without cause or merit.
The trillion dollar taxpayer cost made dozens of corporations billions in profit. Halliburton, a company once run by Dick Cheney made $17.2 billion in just the first three years of the occupation. Even a company financed by Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s husband received hundreds of millions to cleanup Iraq after the war. As long as they turn insane profits, massive corporations do not care about the political mess they leave behind.
America’s support of Hussein after he stole power, funded human rights abuses that Bush, Cheney and others hypocritically used as a reason to invade Iraq again. With governments that claim to love freedom America has historically meddled in the affairs of other nations that caused massive loss of life.
American intervention installed the Shah of Iran, and gave Chile Pinochet. In Iraq, billions have been spent to help a country controlled by an unpopular prime minister who can’t keep control of his country. The invasion of Iraq has and engulfed anger and war throughout the Middle East that is bound to explode.
Not all intervention is wrong. American forces intervened in World War 2 to stop Hitler from ruling the entire planet, and arguments can be made that America should be leading with the United Nations to end the civil war in Sudan, but the invasion of Iraq had little moral reasoning. Global energy companies have been sucking oil out of the Middle East for decades, and foamed at the mouth when the Bush administration dropped their first bombs in 2003. The situation in Iraq was exacerbated by the presence of American soldiers, and corporations who saw dollar signs on top of dead Iraqi’s.
Americans will never see the dollars spent on the war ever again. Many families were never able to say goodbye to their fallen loved ones, and now the neo-cons who consistently push for war without any respect for sovereignty believe American troops should put their boots back on the ground to fight in a land far from their borders.
The war in Iraq was a giant mistake from the start, and what was left in its wake was proof interventionism in the Middle East is an exercise in greed and sheer stupidity.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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