Hypocrisy in Iraq
The Republican-led Congress is about to introduce a resolution stating that the war in Iraq is "the critical part of the global war on terrorism." The statement echoes the claim that the Bush Administration makes to justify the U.S. presence in Iraq.
As I have been arguing in this blog, this claim is classic hypocricy. Only after the Bush Administration decided to invade Iraq in 2003, did that country become a "critical part of the global war on terrorism." Until the invasion, there was no proof that Iraq's maniacal ruler, Saddam Hussein, was exporting terrorism. To remain in power, he was too busy terrorizing his domestic enemies and the country's oppressed Shiite population.
Indeed, Iraq, a secular nation, was then a bulwark against Iran, a Shiite theocracy that was the Iraqi Sunni rulers' traditional enemy. The Iranians were busily promoting terrorism in countries ranging from Lebanon to Argentina. In Argentina, evidence has shown that Iran was behind the bombing of a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires, in which more than 200 people were killed.
In Lebanon, the Iranian-supported Hezballah was responsible for the death of more than 200 U.S. marines who were in the country to halt a civil war between Muslims and Christians. The Hezballah has also been conducting terrorist action on Israel's northern border ever since the Israelis withdrew from southern Lebanon.
In short, the invasion of Iraq created a critical new front in the war against Islamist global terrorism where there wasn't one before 2003. The result is that Iraq has replaced Afghanistan as a primary training ground for radical Islamic terrorists. As recent terrorist attacks in London, Madrid, and elsewhere have demonstrated, these new jihadists have actually committed or have been inspired by the Iraqi insurgents to bring their violent operations to new neighborhoods.
So far, the victor in the war in Iraq has been Iran. With the Iraqi Shiites now dominating the new Iraqi regime, Iran is already wielding influence it did not enjoy before. While the new regime's main leaders talk as if they are pro-American, recent battles between rival Shiite militias show that there are signficant blocs of anti-American Shiites who want the U.S. forces to get out.
I also think we should get out. So does Pennsylvania's Congressman John Murtha, a former Marine colonel, and other military experts who now believe the Iraq invasion was a tragic mistake.
Iraq now has a government and an American-trained army and police force. Unfortunately, both appear to be riddled with personnel from the sectarian militias, making a mockery of the question of whether the country can defend itself. Defend itself against whom?
No foreign enemy threatens Iraq. Instead, a civil war seems to be shaping up in which the rival militias would be battling each other. Playing referee in such an event is not the kind of role that the U.S. should assume while conducting a global war against terrorism. It is not a cause worthy of the killing of still more American troops.