Concerns about the future of Iraq
My questions for Senator McCain
Before addressing Iraq specifically, it is important to understand the situation in context with U.S. Foreign Policy in the Middle East and the policy in general. This article is a response to the American Enterprise Institute’s Pletka interview with Sen. McCain as posted here.
AEI's Pletka Interviews Sen. McCain: Future of Iraq in Jeopardy
In a just completed interview, Senator John McCain (R-AZ), the ranking Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, talks to Danielle Pletka, AEI’s vice president for foreign and defense policy studies, about the future of Iraq.
From the interview:
"All the gains we have achieved in Iraq are now at risk, and the enormous expenditure of blood and treasure that those gains entailed are now in jeopardy of being viewed by history as sacrifices made in vain." - Sen. John McCain
For the whole exchange, please go to the American Enterprise Institute’s (AEI) Enterprise Blog (part 1and part 2).”
Via the AEI
First, I want to acknowledge that AEI is a conservative “think tank,” to which I pay attention because they offer scholarly information and analysis, even when I don’t always agree.
1. Senator McCain is often characterized as a “hawk.” He supported the G W Bush Administration’s attacking Iraq based on faulty intelligence and creative interpretation by Vice President Cheney and others in the administration in a climate of coercion that led to “pre-emptive” war against Iraq.
2. He speaks about the loss of American soldiers as if that mistake was somehow an investment in Iraq referred to as “gains.” One gain from a US perspective is the elimination of Hussein. Many Iraqis might agree with that, however, his expulsion was their business, not ours.
3. America assisted Iraq in establishing a new government, though the future of the government is up to Iraq. Whatever we accomplished there was a down payment for the destruction we rendered based on faulty policy.
That brings us to the question about what is American Middle East Policy today. That should be the focus of AEI’s attention. Unfortunately, Senator McCain’s biases undermine his senior position on the Senate Armed Services Committee.
If you are going to ask him questions, how about asking if he sees any parallels between the U.S. Policy toward Iraq and our former policy in Vietnam. Did he think the Vietnam War was worth the loss of life?