As the latest reporting from both Baghdad and Washington, D.C. reveal diplomatic machinations paving the way for possible U.S. airstrikes in Iraq, increasing numbers of people are asking President Obama—and the American people—to look at the repeated and failed policy of military intervention in the region as the best argument against making the same mistake yet again.
Following members of the Iraqi government on Wednesday making official requests for U.S. airstrikes to combat the military advances of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), rumblings in Washington suggest that one of the pre-conditions for such support would be the resignation of Iraq’s current Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.
As the Guardian reports:
So far, Maliki has reportedly rebuffed criticisms that his sectarian-style of rule has contributed to the marginalization of Sunni community members, from which ISIL is now drawing most of its support and legitimacy. A spokesman for Maliki on Thursday said he would not stand aside.
At the beginning of the week, President Obama moved an aircraft carrier battle group into the Persian Gulf and on Tuesday ordered nearly 300 combat-ready troops to the country. But even as events on the ground and within high-level political arenas move rapidly, the chorus of those urging against further U.S. military action continues to raise its strong objections.
In a previewed segment of an interview with Bill Moyers, combat veteran and military historian Andrew Bacevich rejects the idea that additional armed intervention in the Middle East can actually help solve the current crisis.
“If you think back to 1980,” Bavevich tells Moyers, “and just sort of tick off the number of military enterprises that we have been engaged with in that part of the world, larger and small—Beirut, Afghanistan, Iraq, and on and on—and ask yourself, ‘Is the region becoming more stable? Is it becoming more democratic?'”
The answer to those key questions, says Bacevich: “No and no.’
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