When the US government invaded Iraq in 2003, I wonder how many US officials contemplated the possibility that the cycle of death and destruction that they were initiating would be continuing 13 years later. And yet, here we are — more than a decade after Operation Iraqi Freedom was launched — and US and Iraqi soldiers are, once again, battling over control of Mosul.
The battle for Mosul is being met with considerable indifference or nonchalance among many Americans. After all, there are so many more important things to talk about, such as sex scandals. But the fact that US troops are still fighting, killing, and dying in Iraq 13 years after the US invasion of the country (and 26 years after the US government’s Persian Gulf intervention) is truly remarkable.
Not surprisingly, the US mainstream press and the US national-security establishment are doing their best to put their best spin on the upcoming battle for Mosul. They are showing how US warplanes are “softening” up the enemy with bombing raids on the city. They are reporting how Iraqi troops, counseled by US military advisers, are readying for their long-awaited attack to liberate the city from ISIS, which is the group that came into existence as a direct consequence of the US invasion of Iraq.
US officials and the mainstream press, however, are missing the big picture: The battle for Mosul, thirteen years after the US invasion of Iraq, only goes to show what a disaster US interventionism has been in Iraq and, for that matter, all over the Middle East. After all, thirteen years is more than enough time to have brought peace, prosperity, harmony, and liberty to the Iraqi people.
The ultimate goal in the battle for Mosul is the preservation of the Iraqi government — that is, the regime that the US invasion installed into power. In fact, not surprisingly, many of the people who compose ISIS are former members of the Saddam Hussein regime — the regime that the US invasion ousted from power.
Here’s the thing to bear in mind: The Iraqi government is a US creation. It owes its existence to the U.S invasion and occupation of Iraq.
Yet, obviously there are people in Iraq and elsewhere in the Middle East who will never accept the legitimacy of a regime that has been installed by a foreign power, especially when that foreign power is the US government. They will continue to fight to the death to remove what they consider is nothing more than a vassal state in the US government’s far-flung overseas empire.
This is what all too many US officials and their supporters in the mainstream press and among the American people just don’t get. They see all the death and destruction that the US military-industrial complex has brought the Middle East — not just in Iraq but also Libya, Syria, Yemen, Egypt, and Israel — and all they see is freedom, peace, and prosperity. That’s why they continue to thank the troops for their service and why they get tears in their eyes at MLB baseball games when they are asked to wave their caps in appreciation for what the troops have done in the Middle East.
They blind themselves to the obvious: After 13 years of death and destruction that the Pentagon and CIA have wreaked in the Middle East, that part of the world is one miserable cauldron of tyranny, conflict, discord, war, death, destruction, torture, and misery. Equally important, the more they intervene to fix the problems with the original intervention, the more the situation gets worse.
The current battle for Mosul is a mini-poster for the manifest failure of US interventionism. The overall situation in the Middle East, including Libya, Syria, Egypt, Syria, and Israel, is a real-life advertisement for what US interventionism does to foreign countries and, indirectly, to America. After all, don’t forget that when terrorists retaliate for all the people who US forces are, once again, killing in Iraq, US officials will then use that threat to suspend even more of the rights and freedoms of the American people in order to “keep us safe” from the enemies their endless interventionism continues to produce.
Why do so many Americans seem blind over all this? After 13 years of senseless death and destruction, out of control federal spending and debt, and infringements on our liberty, privacy, and well-being here at home, why aren’t they demanding that the troops be brought home without any further delay? Do they really think that more interventionism or even a new president is going to produce a different result?
Reprinted with permission from the Future of Freedom Foundation.