Once More Into the Breach?

EDGARTOWN, Mass — A senior White House official said on Wednesday that the United States would consider using American ground troops to assist Iraqis in rescuing Yazidi refugees if recommended by military advisers assessing the situation.

That is the opening paragraph of the top story on the New York Times’ website right now. President Obama’s recent authorization of air strikes in Iraq on rebel positions was greeted with a shrug, but it was also accompanied by a promise that there would be no return to ground combat. This makes sense. We’ve been bombing Iraq off and on for over twenty years. Outkast’s B.O.B (Bombs Over Baghdad) was recorded one year before the 9/11 attacks. Four, FOUR!, consecutive U.S. presidents have ordered air strikes in Iraq. Three of those four have presided over ground actions. If it weren’t for Afghanistan and a couple of other hotspots, bombing Iraq would be about all that’s keeping the heavy munitions industry afloat. Bombing Iraq has become normal, just something we do. Continue reading “Once More Into the Breach?”

No Winners

Politics can wear a person down. The endless push and pull, the lack of continual progress, and the realization that most of our leaders are in it for themselves and their paymasters, is enough to make even the most impassioned observers develop hard hearts. I look at the state of the capital today, and I have a difficult time mustering either enthusiasm or outrage. Politics is what it is. We, the people, are the sucker at the poker table. But, unlike in real life, we cannot just get up and leave. We are trapped here. Continue reading “No Winners”

I’m Glad It’s Not My Decision

Ten years ago, the United States started a war against Iraq on false pretenses. The Bush administration lied about and manipulated intelligence to convince the American public that Saddam Hussein’s regime had weapons of mass destruction (chemical weapons), and was actively trying to attain others (nuclear weapons). What boggles the mind is that, in the runup to that war in 2002-2003, it was transparently obvious to anyone paying attention (or not blinded by the cult of Neoconservatism) that the Bush administration was manufacturing its justifications for war. The result we’ve become all-too familiar with: a protracted war which we did not win, drained the Treasury, and cost the lives of over a hundred thousand people. Continue reading “I’m Glad It’s Not My Decision”

The Iraq War

Ten years ago today the American military began its invasion of Iraq. Ten years on the war still incenses. Politics today is in the grip of hyper-partisanship. The GOP is blatantly obstructionist, the Democrats flailing as they try to play small ball with legislation and the economy. The rancor in Washington and in the media is poisonous. Our leaders are growing increasingly cloistered in that world of theirs, and seem either blissfully unaware of the damage they’re doing to the country, or, worse, unconcerned. It’s a disheartening time. But, I would rather see a broken government than the one that so efficiently led us into war in Iraq. Continue reading “The Iraq War”