March 6, 2015

Fox's Charles Krauthammer continues to try to lay all of the problems in the Middle East at President Obama's feet as opposed to his predecessor who blew up the joint in the first place. Here he is on this Thursday's Special Report with Bret Baier doing just that when asked about Iranian troops in Iran helping to battle against ISIS.

KRAUTHAMMER: Imagine what the Gulf Arabs are thinking. Here's an administration, a U.S. administration, it comes and says we want you to join a coalition against ISIS. Then they look at what's happening in Iraq where a famously... militias and extremely effective Revolutionary Guard commander, who incidentally is responsible for hundreds of American deaths during the Iraq war is now in Iraq, openly, consulting with the Iraqi officials and openly running the attack on Tikrit.

And it's not only the Badr brigades. It's not only the proxy Shiite militias that are involved, it is also actual Iranian troops, Iranian Revolutionary Guards who are in charge of the artillery. So the Saudis who see Iran, correctly, as a threat to the entire region, they want to subjugate, they want to go nuclear, and they now have overriding influence in Baghdad and Damascus, in Lebanon and in Yemen and they see that their air strikes are essentially air strikes in support of Iran's taking over of Iraq.

It is a nightmare. It's a paradox and an irony, and the reason is, and this is why they're so angry at the Obama administration, this is the work of the Obama administration. It evacuates Iraq. Iran comes in and is essentially running the place, and it's now about to be legitimated as a nuclear power.

So we're supposed to feel for the poor Saudis who have been funding these extremists in ISIS and who have been responsible for God knows how many of our headaches in general when it comes to terrorism and the people the right wingers are constantly screaming about that they keep telling us are coming to kill us all in our sleep?

And of course in right wing world, the problems in Iraq are due to President Obama pulling our troops out of there and honoring Bush's status of forces agreement and not the fact that the Bush administration allowed their puppet Nouri al-Maliki to marginalize these groups that are rising up now after we went in there and threw out their dictator.

Eugene Robinson reminded everyone last August of the price we're paying for invading Iraq in the first place and what he wrote then bears repeating now: Paying for Bush’s 2003 invasion of Iraq:

As President Obama struggles to deal with the crisis in Iraq, it’s useful to remember who gave the world this cauldron of woe in the first place: George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.

Their decision to launch a foolish and unwarranted invasion in 2003, toppling Saddam Hussein and destroying any vestige of the Iraqi state, is directly responsible for the chaos we see today, including the rapid advance of the well-armed jihadist militia that calls itself the Islamic State. [...]

Let’s review what actually happened. The U.S. invasion toppled a Sunni dictatorship that had ruled brutally over Iraq’s other major groups — the Shiite majority and the ethnic Kurds — for decades. It seems not to have occurred to anyone planning the invasion that long-suppressed resentments and ambitions would inevitably surface.

The leader of that “coalition government” Cheney mentioned, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, turned out not to be a Jeffersonian democrat. Rather, his regime acted quickly and shamelessly to advance a Shiite sectarian agenda — and to marginalize Sunnis and Kurds.

What followed, predictably, was anger and alienation among the disaffected groups. The Kurds focused largely on fortifying their semi-autonomy in the northeast part of the country. Sunni tribal leaders twice cast their lot with violent Sunni jihadist forces that stood in opposition to the Shiite-dominated government in Baghdad — first with al-Qaeda in Iraq and now with the Islamic State.

Obama opposed the U.S. invasion and occupation from the beginning. He was nominated and elected president largely because of his pledge to end the war. He withdrew all U.S. troops only after Maliki refused to negotiate a viable agreement to leave a residual force in place.

Could Obama have found a way to keep more of our soldiers in Iraq if he really wanted to? Perhaps. But this would have required trusting Maliki, who has proved himself a far more reliable ally to the terrorist-sponsoring government of Iran than to the United States. And anyway, why would U.S. forces be needed to keep the peace in the “relatively stable” democratic Iraq of Cheney’s hazy recollection?

As I write, Maliki has barricaded himself inside Baghdad’s Green Zone and is refusing to leave office, despite that Iraq’s president has named a new prime minister. The United States has joined with respected Iraqi leaders to try to force Maliki out, but he holds enormous power — he is not only prime minister but also heads the Iraqi armed forces and national police.

Rewind the clock. If there had been no U.S. invasion, Iraqis surely would have suffered grievously under Saddam’s sadistic rule. But at least 110,000 Iraqis — and perhaps several times that many — died violently in the war and its aftermath. Is it likely that even the bloodthirsty Saddam would have matched that toll? Is it conceivable that the Islamic State’s ad hoc army would have even been able to cross the Syria-Iraq border, much less seize huge tracts of territory and threaten religious minorities with genocide?

Even after the invasion, if the U.S. occupation force had worked to reform the Iraqi military rather than disband it, there would have been a professional army in place to repel the Islamic State. If Maliki had truly acted as the leader of the “coalition government” that Cheney describes, and not as a glorified sectarian warlord, Sunnis likely would have fought the Islamic State extremists rather than welcome them. Read on...

Don't expect any of what Robinson wrote about to ever be acknowledged on Faux "news" or any acknowledgment that maybe we should let these regional powers in the Middle East work out their own problems instead of us constantly interfering. The truth of the matter is the warmongers on that network won't be happy until we're engaged in another full scale ground war or two in the Middle East to satisfy their blood lust. All they do is scoff and try to undermine any efforts at diplomacy like their buddies the Israelis.

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