The Middle East's "World War"

Finkel, David; et. al.

Publisher:  Against the Current
Date Written:  01/11/2014
Year Published:  2014  
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX20821

The editors compare the reasons driving the United States' involvement in Iraq and Syria with those behind the decision to invade Afghanistan.



The meltdown of Iraq was brought about by the neoconservative myth of unlimited U.S. power (which militarist Democrats like then-Senators Hillary Clinton and John Kerry happily endorsed). That myth is now colliding with the cold realities of limited power. Under the Bush-Cheney gang, U.S. imperialism launched a war-of-choice in Iraq on the fraudulent pretext of WMDs and lies about Saddam Hussein's involvement in 9/11.

That war was driven by ideology, domestic politics and opportunism (the delusion of dominating Middle East oil and strategic position on the cheap) more than by vital imperial interests. It was a criminal enterprise, arrogantly conceived, stupidly executed, disastrous for the United States and catastrophic for the Middle East. Now, after creating a vacuum that's been filled by brutal sectarian warfare, imperialism confronts a fundamental crisis that it can neither control nor ignore.

Unlike those triumphal neocons who saw Afghanistan post-9/11 as the opening for a grand military-political Middle East adventure, president Obama wants to "degrade and ultimately destroy" ISIS without U.S. ground combat troops. Where George W. Bush promised a quick and easy victory in Iraq that would be paid for by Iraqi oil (in essence, imperial tribute), Obama openly admits that the current military operation requires years -- a bit of honesty, at least. But beyond bombing and tactical improvisations to save the all-but-collapsed Iraqi army, what the U.S. plan might be, or even if there is one, remains obscure.
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