With the chaos and terror currently engulfing Iraq, American advocates of a non-interventionist U.S. foreign policy can once again — unfortunately — say “I told you so.” The absurdity of Middle East policies pursued by the Bush and Obama administrations are once more on full display for the world to see. The fruits of variously backing dictators, deposing governments, arming terrorists, and putting U.S. forces all over the region are clear: death, destruction, instability, carnage, terrorism, extremism, murder, never-ending war, and more. Now, Obama wants to intervene in Iraq again — on the same side as the Iranian regime.
Over the last week, al-Qaeda-linked jihadists styling themselves the “Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant” (ISIS) receiving weapons and taxpayer funding from the Obama administration in Syria have seized control in wide swaths of Iraq. The U.S.-backed regime in Baghdad, meanwhile, appears to be crumbling as its troops abandon their posts and their weapons. Iraq’s second largest city, Mosul, is already firmly under jihadist control as ISIS troops push on towards Baghdad. Many analysts say the worst is probably yet to come.
Of course, it may well be that the Middle East would be in chaos regardless of U.S. foreign policy. Still, thousands of American lives, countless Iraqi lives, and trillions of U.S. taxpayer dollars were squandered to replace the Saddam Hussein regime — a monstrous former U.S. government ally that at least protected Christians — with a corrupt, sectarian, and incompetent Islamist regime apparently allied with the Iranian dictatorship. Now the current Baghdad regime may end up being replaced by a Taliban-style Sunni theocracy, at least if ISIS gets its way. While Iraq was virtually al-Qaeda free when Bush and his allies invaded, it is now being overrun by al-Qaeda.
Instead of the peace, security, and “democracy” promised by the neoconservative interventionists who demanded an unconstitutional war on Iraq to enforce United Nations resolutions, the U.S. government created the opposite. In 2010, even Vice President Joe Biden said he was “very optimistic” about Iraq and that it “could be one of the great achievements of this administration.” It was not clear what sort of “achievement” Biden had in mind, but there should be no doubt that the Obama administration’s meddling in Syria directly contributed to the ongoing “achievements” by jihadist barbarians in Iraq.
Today, the medieval-minded gaggle of U.S.-armed terrorists with a U.S. government-enabled safe-haven in Syria are close to imposing barbarism and even more extreme sharia law on the already terrorized population of Iraq. Rather than acknowledging that U.S. government interventionism has been worse than a failure, though, Obama is threatening to intervene militarily once again — at least if the regime in Baghdad does what Obama is demanding of it. As has happened so often before in Washington, D.C., “interventions,” the various factions in the latest eruption of war in Iraq have all been armed courtesy of U.S. taxpayers. More U.S. intervention would only make it worse.
Incredibly, in light of the tragic track record of globalist “liberations,” some of the most extreme neoconservatives are even claiming that not enough U.S. government intervention in Iraq is responsible for the current situation. Both Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), for example, are among the coterie of radical neocons who never met a war they did not want your kids to fight. Now, they are again banging the war drums and calling for more U.S. intervention in Iraq. It was not clear whether they thought Obama should defy the Constitution to intervene, or ask Congress, which must declare war, before becoming more deeply involved again.
Ironically, perhaps, many of those blasting Obama for not keeping U.S. troops in Iraq indefinitely — mostly because he could not get the Iran-friendly regime in Baghdad to agree to all of his terms — have been among the most vocal advocates of arming the “Syrian rebels.” Those same rebels, of course, are the ones currently taking over Iraq with weapons supplied by the U.S. government to begin with. Now, the neocon interventionists want U.S. forces to go fight in Iraq on the same side as the dictatorship ruling Iran. Those same neocons, of course, have also been banging the war drums against the Iranian regime, painting it as the National Socialism (Nazism) of the 21st century.
There are now dueling jihads going on in Iraq. From the North, the Sunni Islamists Obama has been quietly backing in Syria — even if he claims to be supporting “moderates,” nobody disputes that ISIS and other al-Qaeda-linked forces have benefited greatly — are taking over huge swaths of territory, arms, and funds. Iraq’s second largest city, Mosul, is now under their control, and other areas are falling fast. From the South, meanwhile, Shiite Muslims responded to calls from the Iraqi “prime minister” and clerics to go wage jihad against the Sunnis advancing toward Baghdad. Iran’s Shiite regime has also been lending its support. Caught in the crossfire are innocent civilians, as usual.
Other tragic fruits of U.S. foreign policy include the decimation of ancient Christian communities across the Middle East — and especially Iraq. As The New American magazine has documented extensively, Christians have been massacred and terrorized in virtually every country in the region during and after U.S. government “interventions” over the last decade. In Iraq, already hanging on by a thread after the Bush administration’s invasion and occupation, the terrorist advances threaten to drive what remains of Christianity in Iraq into full-blown extinction.
“It is feared that this latest exodus could be the final death knell for the Christians of Iraq,” said international director Patrick Sookdheo with Barnabas Fund, an aid organization that supports Christian minorities in Islamic nations. “Having previously sought refuge in Syria, this is no longer an option, and as ISIS violence threatens the stability of the wider region, Christians have very few places of safety to which to run.” Other aid agencies supporting embattled Middle East Christian communities have issued similar warnings and called for prayer by the church around the world.
Former President George W. Bush, whose terror czar recently said he could be prosecuted for war crimes, has been silent on the disaster so far. His British partner in invading Iraq to enforce illegitimate UN “resolutions,” though, has been busy making a fool of himself in an effort to play the public for fools. “We have to liberate ourselves from the notion that ‘we’ have caused this. We haven't,” said former U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair without mentioning where he got “we” from. In a sense, he is right — “we” did not cause this, but Bush, Blair, and the globalist establishment they belong to certainly contributed to it. Like a typical interventionist, he is again calling on Western governments to intervene in Iraq. “It is in our interests for this jihadist extremist group to be stopped in its tracks,” he said.
It is true, of course, that the Sunni jihadists currently rampaging through Iraq are ruthless and barbaric. Among other atrocities, ISIS has been massacring captured Iraqi soldiers and imposing even more brutal forms of sharia than the regime in Baghdad. They would certainly attack the West if they could, too. On the other hand, however, the regime in Baghdad can hardly be described as a paragon of virtue. Rather, it has been “governing” in a blatantly sectarian manner, oppressing the people of Iraq, imposing a Shiite version of sharia, and more. It is currently relying on the Iranian Shiite theocracy to come to its aid. The notion that American forces and funds ought to be aiding either side in this conflict would seem to be a cruel joke — but it is happening.
The ongoing tragedy in Iraq follows an endless trail of tragedies unleashed by U.S. foreign policy and the globalist establishment that controls it. Libya, for example, already a wasteland after Obama’s UN-approved regime-change operation, is in full-blown civil war as various factions fight over the ruins. Syria, too, has virtually melted down, with Obama’s “rebels” running wild, massacring innocents, and working to overthrow Assad to replace him with a brutal Sunni theocracy run by al-Qaeda-linked barbarians. After well over a decade, Afghanistan remains a mess and is on the brink of even greater disaster.
From installing and propping up vicious, mass-murdering dictatorships to arming Islamic terror groups and overthrowing governments, Washington, D.C., is clearly out of control by any objective standard. It is time to stop meddling in foreign countries. Not only can Americans not afford it any longer, it has led to nothing but devastation and tragedy. Instead of more warmongering, Congress ought to restrain Obama, follow the Constitution, and heed the wise, non-interventionist advice of the Founding Fathers. The alternative is Iraq.
Photo of President Obama: AP Images
Alex Newman, a foreign correspondent for The New American, is currently based in Europe. He can be reached at