The Iraq War Was a Smashing Success

By William Rivers Pitt, Truthout | Op-Ed –

iraq war

Smoke rises from American airstrikes in the village of Resala in Iraq as Kurdish peshmerga fighters watch at an overwatch position near the Mosul Dam in Northern Iraq, Aug. 18, 2014. (Photo: Lynsey Addario / The New York Times)

Make no mistake about it: by any vaguely human measure, the situation in Iraq is a US-made disaster of historic proportions. Millions dead or wounded, millions more displaced, and all overseen by a kleptocratic government more interested in grinding old enemies into the dust than governing…and of course, yes, a seemingly endless cycle of violence that claims new victims every day.

The beginning of this week saw bombs ring out all over Iraq, leaving 212 dead and 184 wounded. Three bombs exploded in a commercial district in Kirkuk, killing 31. A suicide bomber charged the gate of a security building in Baghdad, killing eleven. A Sunni mosque in Diyala was attacked, leaving 60 dead. A car bombing in Karbala killed 12. Another car bomb killed 11 people in Hilla. The butcher’s bill goes on, and on, and on.

US military operations in Iraq, directed against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), are escalating by the day. Since the second week in August, the US has carried out some 100 air strikes in Iraq, has deployed about 1,000 troops back into the country, and is tickling the outside edges of bombing targets in Syria.

The question of whether to expand this ongoing war, however, is not likely to be put to a vote in congress any time soon; a roomful of Democratic congressional aides made it abundantly clear that the last thing their bosses want is to be forced to make a public vote on further military action in Iraq. Such a vote, they claim, is far too sticky a wicket to wrangle in an election year.

Same as it ever was.

Yet consider this: the news site Vox ran a story at the beginning of August under the headline, “The US Bombing Its Own Guns Perfectly Sums Up America’s Total Failure in Iraq.” The article refers to the US air campaign against ISIS, which is flush with US weapons of war obtained from the collapsed Iraqi military. The article reads:

The absurdity runs deep: America is using American military equipment to bomb other pieces of American military equipment halfway around the world. The reason the American military equipment got there in the first place was because, in 2003, the US had to use its military to rebuild the Iraqi army, which it just finished destroying with the American military.

The American weapons the US gave the Iraqi army totally failed at making Iraq secure and have become tools of terror used by an offshoot of al-Qaeda to terrorize the Iraqis that the US supposedly liberated a decade ago. And so now the US has to use American weaponry to destroy the American weaponry it gave Iraqis to make Iraqis safer, in order to make Iraqis safer.


Reprinted with permission