The Neocon Legacy

David Atkins, The Brutal Neoconservative Legacy in Iraq, pretty much says the same stuff I wrote here. Very basically, Atkins points out that the neocons have continued to justify the invasion of Iraq by claiming that getting rid of Saddam Hussein would be good for America in the long run.

But over a decade after the invasion and with Iraq seemingly entering a disastrous sectarian civil war, it seems abundantly clear that whatever the long-term effects of the invasion may be, the near to mid-term result has been to empower Shi’ite theocrats in Iran, and to radicalize Sunni factions in Iraq. As of this writing, Sunni extremist groups expressly intent on establishing a global caliphate are threatening to overrun Baghdad. The corrupt Shi’ite government of Nouri Al-Maliki is counting on and receiving support from the Ayatollahs in Iran.

Neither of these developments have even a silver lining behind them.

It wasn’t just the invasion, but the gross mismanagement of the occupation/nation building phase that came after pretty much guaranteed that the invasion of Iraq will always be counted as one of the greatest foreign policy bleep-ups of all time. I’d say it’s got Napoleon’s invasion of Russia beat by a mile.

11 thoughts on “The Neocon Legacy

  1. What ? I thought the failure is due to Obama’s “lack of leadership” and a preface to the arrival of the “Antichrist”. It has nothing to do with Sykes-picot and the Balfour declaration and dubya’s penis waving.

  2. But, but, but…

    Bill Kristol assured us that there were no sectarian problems in Iraq!

    But what does a treasonous traitor like me, who marched and protested, know, compared to the great NeoCLOWN geniuses like Kristoll?

    And the death toll of “Dick & W’s Follies,” continues to go up, up, up!

  3. And, I suppose the only thing to do after you’ve lost at playing “Risk,” is to try to play, “BLAME!”

  4. It’s an even bigger, civilization-scale bleep-up than that.

    Consider the opportunity cost of spending trillions to conquer the middle east for its oil (Iraq has 11% of the worlds oil, most of it high quality and near the surface, easy to get), versus using that time and money to get off fossil fuels, something that will have to be done anyway.

    Consider how much more unstable the world became, and how much more security is now required, since we meddled in the hornets nest.

    Getting rid of Saddam, “The War on Terrorism”, and all that stuff – is just window dressing. If we didn’t need the oil, nobody would care about these things enough to expend American lives on them. Bob Dole bluntly stated, sometime in the 90s, that “we’re in the middle east for one reason only, and that reason is oil”.

    Had the neocons’ gamble succeeded, our energy costs would’ve dropped dramatically, there would be a massive economic boom, and Republicans would be guaranteed dominance for at least a decade or more. If you’re Dick Cheney or Karl Rove, what’s not to like?

    This isn’t the first decision point America had to give up its oil addiction. An earlier chance came with Jimmy Carter’s response to the oil crisis of the 70s – recall that he put solar panels on the White House, and Ronnie Raygun took them down.

    We squandered thirty years, back when energy was much cheaper, and a transition to the-next-energy-regime-to-come would’ve been much less expensive and less painful that it’s going to be, because the powers-that-be didn’t want it.

    After wasting all this time and money and blood, we’re still on oil, and our country’s position is so much the worse, in so many ways.

  5. See Dennis Kucinich, Stop Calling the Iraq War a “Mistake”.

    …But the “mistake” rhetoric is the language of denial, not contrition: it minimizes the Iraq War’s disastrous consequences, removes blame, and deprives Americans of any chance to learn from our generation’s foreign policy disaster. The Iraq War was not a “mistake” — it resulted from calculated deception. The painful, unvarnished fact is that we were lied to. Now is the time to have the willingness to say that…

  6. Did you notice that none of the Sunday TV shows had John McCain yesterday? This perpetual fixture of the Sabbath Gasbags was not even on Face The Nation! What can we make of that?

  7. Ed,
    Maybe his wife asked that he stay in one of their many homes, and help her iron her face?

  8. The local paper, usually filled with right-wing unfunny and untrue political cartoons, had one yesterday with the caption: “There you go again – trying to blame Bush for something that Bush did! [i.e., Iraq War]”

    Quite interesting (but still not very funny).

  9. Damn you, Gulag! I just snorted Jello chocolate pudding out my nose!

    (I know, I know. Can’t take me anywhere.)

  10. I think you liberals are being a bit premature in judging Bush’s legacy. Greatness just doesn’t happen overnight. And 10 years isn’t sufficient time for the lion to lay down with the lamb. Be patient, peace will come to Iraq, and Bush’s brilliance in invading Iraq will be made manifest when its time has come.
    Oh ye liberals of little faith! It’s always darkest before the dawn.

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