Sunday, October 24, 2010

The truth on Iraq

The pile of documents from the Iraq war that was released by WikiLeaks seems to add evidence to the argument that the supposed success of the so-called Surge touted by the Bush Administration and Sen. John McCain is a myth. Other factors had already come together to slow the violence in Iraq even before the first extra troops arrived and the political reconciliation -- for which the Surge was intended to create breathing room -- has never happened.

Speaking of Iraq, a new book by Gen. Hugh Shelton, the former chairman of the Joints Chiefs of Staff, says that George W. Bush was dead set against invading that country when Defense Sec. Donald Rumsfeld came to him not long after 9/11. Bush, according to Shelton, wanted to deal only with Afghanistan, but Rumsfeld went ahead and had the Pentagon draw up plans to invade Iraq and kept beating the drum -- presumably with Dick Cheney at his side -- until Bush agreed.

As blogger Andrew Sullivan writes of Iraq:
This whole enterprise designed to rid the world of danger has increased danger in the world; an attempt to end a torture regime led to widespread torture by Iraqi government forces, and, of course, by the US itself; a bid to encourage democracy will in all likelihood lead to either chaos or a Shiite strongman; an endeavor seeking to weaken Iran has ended in empowering it.

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