The most bellicose commentators on the current situation in Ukraine are pretty much exactly the same crew who zealously cheer-led for the illegal and deranged invasion of Iraq in 2003. Disappointingly, nobody thinks it appropriate to bring this up…as if it doesn’t affect their credibility in the slightest.
The immediate consequences of the war of Iraq were disastrous and the long-term geo-political consequences for the U.S. similarly so. This has been exhaustively poured over, without so much as a blushing of the cheeks from these pro-war stalwarts.
Less considered are the horrible consequences for Iraq right now and going forward. The U.S.-backed dictator Nouri al-Maliki is ruling the country with an iron fist, putting his political opponents in jail, torturing prisoners, crushing free speech, and so on. The advocates of “democracy promotion” in Iraq, somehow, don’t have to answer for the fact that the Iraqi parliament is now considering imposing new laws that would allow girls to be forced into arranged marriages from the age of nine.
Al-Qaeda, which had no presence in Iraq before the U.S. war, is sticking to Iraq’s Sunni provinces now like a malignant cancer, helping destabilize not just Iraq but Syria.
That’s all insignificant and obviously doesn’t reflect on their ability to properly analyze the U.S.-Russian relations in the aftermath of the Ukraine crisis…right?
A recent Reuters “Special Report” details horrendous atrocities committed by U.S.-trained Iraqi security forces, including extra-judicial executions of suspected terrorists and gruesome mutilations of dead bodies right out in public. Meanwhile, a Sunni-Shia civil war simmers just below the boiling point, with gun battles and car bombs an increasingly ordinary part of Iraqi life. More civilians were killed in 2013 than in any year since the war supposedly ended.
The brainless warmongers who helped turn American opinion in favor of invading Iraq are now stirring up indignation among millions of cable news watchers who now believe the U.S. must take aggressive action to rectify the situation in Ukraine. Their past records are irrelevant.
Stephen Walt summed up the issue rather well on Twitter yesterday:
The wronger you are about big issues in US FP, the more likely you are to rise in power & prominence and be immune to accountability.
— Stephen Walt (@stephenWalt) March 20, 2014