Is this the "official end" of the Bush-Cheney disaster in Iraq?

Dec 20, 2011 12:00 AM

by Prof. Rodrigue Tremblay

"Just think of what happened after 9/11.
Immediately before there was any assessment there was glee in
the [Bush-Cheney] administration because now we can invade Iraq."
Ron Paul, US Congressman (R-Tex.) and 2012 Republican presidential candidate

“After the war [against Iraq] has ended, the United States will have to rebuild much more than the country of Iraq.
We will have to rebuild America's image around the globe.”
Sen. Robert Byrd, (D-W.Va), March 19, 2003

“Let me say this as plainly as I can: by August 31, 2010, our combat mission in Iraq will end... Through this period of transition, we will carry out
further redeployments. And under the Status of Forces Agreement with the Iraqi government, I intend to remove all US troops from Iraq by the end of 2011.”
President Barack Obama, February 27, 2009

The Obama administration officially put an end to the Iraq war on December 15, 2011, close to nine years after the March 20, 2003 military invasion of Iraq, dubbed “shock-and-awe”.
I had not intended to comment on the end of this most unnecessary war, but since I wrote a book to explain how it all came about, I feel that I must say something.

Analysts have begun to describe this war, launched on false pretences, as “the Biggest Mistake In American Military History”. Indeed, beginning right after 9/11 and throughout 2002, the Bush-Cheney administration had its mind firmly set to invade Iraq military, and no fact, law or argument could deter it from doing so.
In that, it was following the blueprint that neocons and pro-Israel "Likudniks" under the leadership of Paul Wolfowitz (Bush's future deputy secretary of defence) and Lewis "Scooter" Libby (Cheney’s future chief of staff) had drafted in 2000 under the auspices of “The Project for the New American Century”, in a report entitled "Rebuilding America's Defences, Strategy: Forces and Resources For a New Century".

This was a neo-conservative imperial project that became officially the “Bush Doctrine”. [] Its goal was to project, as far as possible into the future, the "unipolar advantageous position" that the United States inherited after the break-up of the Soviet Union, in December 1991.
It was really a hubristic and bare-knuckle strategy of world hegemony, based upon unilateral interventionism -- militarily, economically and politically -- by the US. It was an "America First" doctrine, based not upon modern international law, but rather on a solipsistic approach to American interests and the elementary principle of brute force. In fact, it was a giant step backward that could have consequences for decades to come.

In the book that I wrote in 2003 to denounce such a suicidal shift in American foreign policy (see: The New American Empire), I pointed out that “the 'Bush Doctrine' was a near identical re-enactment of the infamous 1968 Soviet Union's 'Brezhnev Doctrine', which... paved the way for the [Soviet] invasion Afghanistan in 1979”. Ultimately, it also led to the demise of the Soviet Union.
Contrary to what some still think, the war against Iraq did not arise from a generous desire to promote democracy around the world. In fact, “spreading democracy” was little more than a domestic war propaganda slogan.

After the events of 9/11, the policy was to divert the war against international terrorism and the al Qaeda network, and turn it towards the real big prize, i.e. Iraq, its armaments and its oil. In the spirit of the newly designed “Bush Doctrine”, it was obvious that the war against international terrorism offered a strategic opportunity to promote American interests around the world.
Nobody can understand why so many lies, so many distortions and so many artifices were used by the Bush-Cheney administration and its sycophants in the media to justify the illegal invasion of Iraq, a country that had no connection to 9/11 whatsoever, if one does not understand the policy that prepared it.

But here we are with that most unnecessary war and what are the results?
This is a war that destroyed a country, killed hundreds of thousands of its inhabitants and drove 4,500 American soldiers to their death and severely injured 30,000 more. This was a war that did not improve US National Security to any extent, because it has now made Islamist Iran the primary influence in the Middle East region.
Moreover, this is a war that seriously diminished the United States' global credibility and moral posture around the world. Finally, this is a war that has also contributed in breaking the US economy, because it caused the US government's fiscal deficit to spiral out of control and because that deficit was mainly financed with foreign debt.

All considered, except for the war profiteers who filled their pockets, this so-called Iraq war was an unmitigated disaster.

Prof. Rodrigue Tremblay, an economist, is the author of the book “The Code for Global Ethics, Ten Humanist Principles”. To write to the author:

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