After watching this documentary, I’ve come to realize how complicated and messy the Iraq War was. Contrary to the Leftist propaganda of “Big Oil”, the war was not fought for the US to seize oil. Only 4% of our oil is imported from Iraq. More than 40% is from Mexico. Relinquishing Hussein of Iraq’s oil certainly benefitted American oil industries but it also helped many other non-American industries. There was military industrial incentives but there were many others as well. Rather than settling on purely corporatist grounds, I believe Iraq’s oil also served military and strategic purposes for America and Iraq’s neighbors. We did wish to prevent Saddam from possessing such a large revenue as a means to undermine UN resolutions and flex his muscles in the Middle East. Hussein was a threat and he possessed power through oil. He murdered thousands like it was his favorite hobby. He has invaded other nations. He was making and testing weapons. Something had to be done! Before you accuse me of imperialism, let me clarify first. Did we enter for noble reasons? No. Did those reasons affect our decisions? Somewhat. Should we have gone in with noble intentions? Yes. Did we have a chance to settle the war peacefully with stability? Yes!
I’ll address how we lost our chance to bring good to Iraq in later paragraphs.
Another Leftist propaganda debunked by facts is that we actually did enter because of WMD. We were not certain Saddam possessed WMD, but his genocides and attempted assassinations against US presidents proved he was developing weapons near such capacity. Just the mere thought of Saddam’s possession of such weapons was enough for the White House including “Leftists” like Bill and Hilary Clinton to approve the War. Everyone was onboard. We were also responsible for not fully containing Saddam in 1991, therefore leading him to sponsor terrorists, which inevitably means we caused 9/11. We went back to clean up our mess. http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/343870/why-did-we-invade-iraq-victor-davis-hanson
The interesting and fascinating clips of the Frontline documentary described intimate details of the affairs that went on during the occupation. It was truly a mess. We did not predict the insurgency. We had no idea how the chips would fall. In layman’s term, the bull rammed through the stadium without a matador. General Casey who was appointed to subdue the insurgency failed miserably. The White House neither planned nor cared about bringing peace. “Securing Iraq was not included in the plan” says General Casey. The Bush administration paid more attention to crafting propaganda and lies to seem like the troops were winning as a bait for re-election. After capturing Saddam. the White House now tired of the War, ordered Paul Bremer (US governor of Iraq) to set up a coalition government to leave it to the Iraqis. Bremer refused because the panel he was given to choose from was utterly inept. Unfortunately, Bush insisted and Iraq was left to a group of useless officials. However, the US could not leave due to the famous incident of 4 chiseled and dead US troops hung like medieval witches.
The Bush Administration was forced to bring a real victory, leading to the appointment of General Petraeus, an intellectual who enjoyed the company of senators and journalists and also an insurgency expert. Petraeus made a bold move by attacking the Shias and the Sunnis core military sites. The war was long and arduous but victory was eventually achieved. Of course, the media did not receive it very well. Despite the numerous deaths, the victory enabled Petraeus to set up long term preventions of dispute between the Shias and Sunnis through hiring and training the Sunnis who were fewer in number to protect them through affiliation with the United States military . This group was called the Sons of Iraq. Violence decreased and as Christopher Hitchens once said, the government was inconceivably free and democratic compared to the tyranny of Saddam Hussein. As serenity slowly began to silence the battle field, Nouri al-Maliki was appointed as the Prime Minister of Iraq. Although incompetent and politically vacuous, he was frequently advised and counseled by President Bush. Their relationship developed into a very amicable one, which led to Bush’s faith in Maliki despite the numerous reports by various sources including Petraeus and the CIA that Maliki highly favored the Shias and held potential for Shia sectarianism. Bush, in turn, arranged an agreement between the US and Maliki to continue US mediation for at least 3 more years to prevent sectarian violence. In spite of his rare display of good insight, it did not last very long. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/losing-iraq/
When Obama came into office, he ignored Petraeus’s advice. He told the American public he’d remove troops from Iraq as a show of competency and re-election oriented sensationalism. The President wished to focus on domestic issues such as Health Care and the economy rather than the stringent War of Iraq. After the troops left Iraq, Maliki began his purge. He attacked the Sons of Iraq, fired all Sunni officers from the military, and murdered thousands of Sunnis while replacing all important positions with Shias. The Sons of Iraq now fights against the Iraq security forces instead of helping them like Petraeus desired. They resent the US more than ever.
The Civil war in Syria fuels the Sons of Iraq with weapons. The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS ) is now one of the most dangerous and troubled regions in the Middle East. These are well-trained men and they occupy more territory than Bin Laden’s Al Qaeda ever has. They are well funded, battle-hardened, and strong. As the administration plans to deal with ISIS, we are certain they are staring intently at the White House. With more certainty and fury than even Bin Laden himself.