Stephen Zunes : Iraq
Sir John Chilcot’s report on Great Britain’s role in the Iraq War confirmed what many have long assumed: the government of Prime Minister Tony Blair—and, by extension, the administration of President George W. Bush—deliberately misled us, exaggerating the threat posed by Saddam Hussein and Iraq in order to justify the 2003 invasion of that country.
In 2002, Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York voted to authorize the Iraq War; her rival for the Democratic nomination for president, Bernie Sanders, opposed it. Clinton’s vote continues to haunt her on the campaign trail – and for good reason.
During the 1980s, the United States was seriously divided over U.S. policy toward Central America. The Reagan administration was propping up a brutal military-backed regime in El Salvador that was responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of people, including priests, nuns and catechists, along with labor, student and human rights leaders, as well as peasants who happened to live in areas supporting the opposition.
Clinton supporters want Democratic voters to forgive their candidate’s support for the most disastrous foreign policy decision in decades. They shouldn’t.
The rise of ISIS (also known as Daesh, ISIL, or the “Islamic State”) is a direct consequence of the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq. While there are a number of other contributing factors as well, that fateful decision is paramount….
The dramatic rise of the extremist Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS)—which even al-Qaeda deemed too extreme to remain part of its network—is a tragedy by any measure. It would also be tragic if we allowed the very forces that created this mess to explain it away.
The tragic upsurge of violence in Iraq in recent months, including the temporary takeover of sections of two major Iraqi cities by al-Qaida affiliates, is a direct consequence of the repression of peaceful dissent by the U.S.-backed government in Baghdad and, ultimately, of the 2003 U.S. invasion and occupation.
Given the enormous tragedy of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, the war’s tenth anniversary has inevitably raised the question of ?why?? As many of us predicted in the lead-up to the war, the official rationales for the U.S. invasion of Iraq?namely, that Iraq possessed ?weapons of mass destruction? and had operational ties to al-Qaeda?were false. And the corrupt, inept, and repressive sectarian government the United States helped establish in Baghdad has undermined any pretense that the war was about democracy.
This month marks the 10th anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, which has resulted in the deaths of up to half a million Iraqis, mostly civilians, and the displacement of millions of others.