Antiwar Protesters Greet Obama’s Iraq War Speech
On the 10th of September, Obama gave a speech formally announcing the US was return to war in Iraq and now also in Syria, but only from the air supposedly. No war has ever been won with a campaign waged entirely from the air, but plenty of people have been killed this way in the past. Despite talk of waging the war from the air, Obama is also sending an additional 475 US troops into Iraq to supplement the 300 already sent. In other words there are already US “boots on the ground” with more to follow
Antiwar protesters were in front of the White House booing some of Obama’s more bellicose words. The last thing Obama said “God bless our troops” sounded to me like something you say to troops going to a war where you don’t expect them to make it home. One of the Code Pink signs said “been there, done that,” referrring to war in Iraq. One of the protesters said Obama wanted to bomb Assad last year, but now wants to join with Assad to bomb Islamic State. Which side is he on in Syria anyway-the chemical weapons side, or the religious extremism side?
Suddenly it’s 2003, and Mr George W Obama is beating the drums for war! Islamic State’s behavior is about as bad as it gets, but in my judgement the US conduct during the last occupation of Iraq disqualifies the US from intervening again. Private homes were routinely raided, and some of them were smashed up for no more reason than to create fighting positions for US troops. Whole families were cuffed for hours,or dragged away to detention. Who can forget the torture at Abu Graib, the rapes at Haditha, or the Blackwater goons that shot up cars full of innocent people? The insurgency began after US troops fired live ammunition at protesters upset that a US helicopter accidently blew a flag off of a mosque. Prior to that US troops had been doing house to house searches ostensably for former Saddam officials, to considerable discontent but not at that time to much in the way of armed resistance.
This intervention in the Iraq/Syria Civil War is like calling the police because someone who was beaten by police and spent almost ten years in prison has just found a burglar in his home. I don’t think the police would be very welcome, in fact might be considered a new and even more dangerous enemy than the burglar would be.