Why Remember Iraq?

Most Americans would prefer to forget that we are approaching the first anniversary of the expulsion of U.S. military forces from Iraq. The Republican Party, which rallied behind George W. Bush to invade the country and occupy it, has suffered from a short memory relating to that misbegotten war even as it agitates for new … Continue reading “Why Remember Iraq?”

People Have Changed: A Legacy of the US War in Iraq

BAGHDAD — Yesterday was a beautiful autumn day in Baghdad. As I was visiting two families in widely different neighborhoods, I was able to traverse a large part of the city. I looked with eyes that have not seen Baghdad for nine years. Today, it is a city of stark contrasts. Bright new autos wherever … Continue reading “People Have Changed: A Legacy of the US War in Iraq”

Iraq: Ten Years, a Million Lives, and Trillions of Dollars Later

Ten years ago the debate over the Iraq War came to Congress in the form of a resolution promoted by the Bush administration. The war in Iraq will cost the United States as much as $5 trillion. It played a role in spurring the global financial crisis. Four thousand four hundred eighty-eight Americans were killed. … Continue reading “Iraq: Ten Years, a Million Lives, and Trillions of Dollars Later”

Whatever Happened to Iraqi Oil?

It was never exactly rocket science. You didn’t have to be Einstein to figure it out. In early 2003, the Bush administration was visibly preparing to invade Iraq, a nation with a nasty ruler who himself hadn’t hesitated to invade another country, Iran, in the early 1980s for no purpose except self-aggrandizement. (And the Reagan … Continue reading “Whatever Happened to Iraqi Oil?”

Will Downing Street Memo Recur on Iran?

Recent remarks by Sir John Sawers, who heads Britain’s MI6 (the secret intelligence service that is Britain’s CIA counterpart), leave us wondering if Sawers is preparing to “fix” intelligence on Iran, as his immediate predecessor, Sir John Scarlett, did on Iraq. Scarlett’s pre–Iraq War role in creating “dodgy dossiers” hyping the threat of nonexistent “weapons … Continue reading “Will Downing Street Memo Recur on Iran?”

Wars Have Unpredictable and Dangerous Collateral Effects

The recent bloodless (referring to American blood — the most important to U.S. policymakers) overthrow of Moammar Gadhafi in Libya has been touted as a low-cost model for future U.S. military interventions. The recent Libyan election is said to have vindicated America’s “leadership from the rear” strategy — supporting indigenous armies on the ground and … Continue reading “Wars Have Unpredictable and Dangerous Collateral Effects”

The Evil of Humanitarian Wars

In a traditional cowboy movie, we know what to do: we look for the guy wearing the white hat to be sure whom to cheer, and for the one wearing the black hat to know who deserves to die, preferably gruesomely, before the credits roll. If Hollywood learned early to play on these most tribal … Continue reading “The Evil of Humanitarian Wars”

Regime-Changers’ Report Card

Divide et impera – a strategy employed by empires since ancient times, and perfected by the British – has been the leitmotif of American foreign policy in the Middle East since the Bush administration’s “Arab Awakening” in Iraq and the supposed success of the “surge.” I’ve written in this space about the playing of the … Continue reading “Regime-Changers’ Report Card”

Colin Powell: Another War Criminal Cashes In

One could be forgiven for thinking there’s anything honorable or honest about Colin Powell. For more than two decades now the Washington media has portrayed the former secretary of state as something of a real-life action hero, a reluctant warrior whose greatest fault — should they deign to mention any — was just being too … Continue reading “Colin Powell: Another War Criminal Cashes In”