To The Daily Sun,
Thanks, Russ Wiles, for your own version of "revisionist history" based on the pre-Vietnam mentality that the U.S. is somehow the globe's policeman and must expect that total military victory is supposed to be the precursor of the winning of the hearts and minds of those we seek to liberate from their own cultures.
Today "Mission Accomplished" is the former Iraq, with nearly 1.5 million Southwest Asians dead by way of the U.S.'s direct actions of war, collateral damage or the famine and pestilence that are created in every one of these police actions. We then add to that the additional 8 million desperate former Iraqis made refugees created out of these political destabilizations we initiated, added to the 2 million we were directly responsible for creating whilst we prosecuted our wars on these peoples whose cultures, customs and religion we find mostly revolting.
May I propose some other "revisionist history"? The Turks would not allow us to set the precedent for Putin to invade and annex a sovereign foreign nation, over their territory. They feared the eventual political destabilizations and refugee floods they are now dealing with. Bush II ignored the precepts of the Powell-Weinberg doctrine. He had no exit plan for Iraq, just a plan to invade it and destroy the so-far-mythical Weapons of Mass Destruction.
All through the Southwest Asian war efforts, Bush and then Obama referred to the Mujahideen as being "insurgents". We did not see that word now fallen into disuse, in Mr. Wiles recent column. Shortly after the fiction of Bush's ambitious war on Iraq was revealed, his Secretary of State resigned in apparent disgust for being bamboozled into vouching for the existence of the WMD deception.
In the 2008 election, incumbent Sen. John E. Sununu was swept out of office by the disgusted electorate voting their level of confidence in the disastrous foreign policy and domestic economy collapse his fellow Republican, Bush II ultimately delivered. Obama is evil because he recognized the sense of the electorate when he ran for re-election against the War Hawk-campaigning Mitt Romney, who was by many opinions a Vietnam draft dodger with the same motivations as the boxer Mohammed Ali. Mr. Ali went to jail. Mitt went to France.
The electorate seems to have sensed Winston Churchill's observations about democracy being the worst form of government except for all the others previously tried. The electorate endorsed the re-election of a cartoon character of about the same credibility as his predecessor over the war mongering prince of the pluto-gerontocracy. Someone who would not serve in his time, but now thought himself fit to be Commander and Chief.
So far Obama has, until recently, kept the boots off the ground in the former Iraq. If you watch the Sunday news magazines you will see the credible plus one dozen Republican candidates for president all saying that it is for our allies of the same cultures in the region to deal with the winners of the hearts and minds in the Islamist Caliphate. We are to provide air support and material support but "no boots on the ground" to destroy ISIS. Republicans are advising against boots on the ground, while Obama is now increasing those numbers. Obama has no further need to heed the will of the electorate. The $300 million-plus for a library is his current main concern.
A war-weary America has gotten its pound of flesh in terms of exacting retribution for the 9/11 attacks. Up until recently Obama had been advising that, "These folks are going to have to sort things out for themselves." Now they have, and it is generally recognized that the wrong people have won that process. We could not allow free elections as continuously promised in Vietnam because the wrong people would have won there, too.
Our Constitution specifically forbids quartering military personnel in our homes by the Third Amendment. Americans with their sense of self-righteousness cannot imagine how occupying Kuwait for 20 years and invading Iraq with the collateral damages to the civilian populations engender rage in the indigent populations. Emotions our nation's founders were keenly aware of in creating the Third Amendment. Americans do not want to admit to being the cause of refugees in Syria and Jordan selling their children on the streets for sex. We after all were the force for good.
We got rid of Saddam, Uday, and Qusay. Now we have the ISIS. Remarkably ISIS kills its enemies so as to be assured they will not have to fight them again. Tactics so different than Saddam or that the British employed in the aftermath of the 1916 Irish Rebellion and the Amritsar massacre in India a few decades later? Tactics employed by Reno and Custer 125 years ago. We let some of the enemy interned at Gitmo go because we are a spineless nation and not willing to deal with "them" as "they" are committed to dealing with any of us that are so foolish or naive enough to venture into these SW Asian regions to be do-gooders.
It is easy to find and film these successful westernization stories but are they really reflective of the societies of Southwest Asia's ambitions for self determination? So Russ is correct that the president, sensing the will of the American electorate, belatedly post the 2008 election promises, withdrew from Iraq. But he had to withdraw to help him win the next election. So the current fiasco of the last 12 years of U.S. foreign policy in Southwest Asia is all Obama's fault?
Along with the suppression of the Taliban in AfPak, we have the biggest U.S. heroin epidemic of the last quarter century. It is true that Hillary Clinton refused to go on the national TV Sunday news magazines after Benghazi. Instead, as she was reticent to spin the Obama administration's fiction to the nation, Susan Rice was sent up to spin the lies. Susan would have been in line to be the next Secretary of State but was thrown under the bus. Instead the vet who questioned how you ask the last soldiers to die at the end of a mistake to just suck it up, became the Secretary of State.
The Benghazi disaster was not unlike many previous disasters where the CIA, the Defense Department and the State Department were all culpable. It is easy to pin it on Clinton as to her being the lightning-rod personality. As Secretary of State, Clinton pursued expeditionary diplomacy. Maybe there is an argument to be made for or against that kind of more risky diplomacy, but if you pursue it there may eventually be costs such as occurred in Benghazi. The alternative is to employ the "everybody loves Joe" insular diplomacy as explained by one of Russ' contemporaries in the novelette "The Ugly American."
Let us also persist in the revisionist history of the role VP Cheney did not play in the Iraq fiasco. Let us not take note that along with Senator Sununu, it was Senator Clinton also voting for authorizing Bush to invade Iraq. So Clinton is all about the Benghazi accountability but should not be criticized or held accountable for her support of Bush's "good" war of aggression on Iraq? It is all Obama's fault for forming the objective and exit strategies in Iraq as provided in the Powell-Weinberg doctrine.
The costs of U.S. active-military pay, rising by 46 percent in inflation adjusted terms over the last decade, is turning our all-voluntary force ever more into mercenaries. The exponentially increasing legacy costs of military pensions of ever more top brass needed to prosecute war. The same as for the costs of caring for and the rehabilitation of the heroes who have given their real pounds of flesh and providing benefits to the burgeoning numbers of vets.
As for getting retribution for 9/11 against some randomly selected militarily weak Arab nation, what is not to like about Obama exacerbating "Mission Accomplished"?