The spoils of war 1

From a military point of view, the Iraq war was an American (or coalition) success. Bush’s surge gained a military victory. And it must be counted as a great good that the sadistic despot Saddam Hussein was overthrown and executed.

From an historian’s point of view, however, not much has been accomplished. There have been elections, yes, but they do not make Iraq a democracy. It is governed by sharia law, and sharia and Western liberal democracy are not only dissimilar, they are incompatible.

How much benefit has America itself reaped from its investment of dollars, lives, blood, sweat and tears ?

On December 18, Diana West wrote about the surge and its success:

Step One worked. Step Two didn’t. The surge, like an uncaught touchdown pass, was incomplete. The United States is now walking off the battlefield with virtually nothing to show for its blood, treasure, time and effort. In fact, another “success” like that could kill us. … When Iraq staged one of the biggest oil auctions in history last week, U.S. companies left empty-handed. Russia, China and Europe came out the big winners.

Today she writes:

So much for the lack of post-surge U.S. business benefits in Iraq, as I wrote last week. Now, what kind of post-surge ally is Iraq?

No kind.

I write in wonder that the ultimate failures of the surge strategy — which include the failure of anything resembling a U.S. ally to emerge in post-Saddam Iraq — have never entered national discourse. Rather, the strategy that “won Iraq” has been mythologized as a “success” to be repeated in Afghanistan.

It’s not that there aren’t hints to the contrary — as when … 42 percent of Iraqis polled by the BBC in March 2008 still thought it “acceptable” to attack U.S. forces. Or when Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, as U.S. forces transferred security responsibilities to Iraqi forces in June, obstreperously declared “victory” over those same U.S. forces! …

Of greater consequence are the positions against U.S. interests Iraq is taking in world affairs.

Take the foundational principle of freedom of speech, continuously under assault by the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) in the international arena. The OIC includes the world’s 57 Muslim nations as represented by kings, heads of state and governments, with policies overseen by the foreign ministers of these same 57 nations. Describing itself as the “collective voice of the Islamic world,” the OIC strives to extend Islamic law throughout the world, and to that end, is the driving force at the United Nations to outlaw criticism of Islam (which includes Islamic law) through proposed bans on the “defamation of religions” — namely, Islam. This is a malignant thrust at the mechanism of Western liberty. Where does post-surge Iraq come down in this crucial ideological struggle?

An OIC nation, Iraq is, with other OIC nations, a signatory to the 1990 Cairo Declaration of Human Rights in Islam. This declaration defines human rights according to Islamic law, which prohibits criticism of Islam. Indeed, Iraq’s U.S.-enabled 2004 constitution enshrines Islamic law above all. Little wonder Iraq consistently votes at the United Nations with the OIC and against the United States on this key ideological divide between Islam and the West, most recently in November.

Then there’s Iran.

Iran may be a menace to the West, but it is also Iraq’s largest trading partner. … This disastrous fact should dampen — at least enter into — assessments of the surge strategy’s “success”.

But it doesn’t. Not even the fact that Bank Melli — the Iranian terror bank outlawed by the U.S. Treasury as a conduit for Iran’s nuclear and terrorist programs — operates a branch in Baghdad gives pause to one-surge-fits-all enthusiasts. The Bank Melli example is particularly egregious because the bank funds Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Qods Force, which is responsible for innumerable American casualties in Iraq — American sacrifices on behalf of Iraq. Guess we’re supposed to look the other way. But that’s like applauding the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) between the United States and Iraq without noticing that the agreement prohibits the United States from attacking Iran (or any other country) from Iraq.

Iraq’s pattern of hostility to U.S. interests continues vis-a-vis Israel, a bona-fide U.S. ally against jihad terror. Whenever Israel strikes back at jihad — whether at Hamas in Gaza or Hezbollah in Lebanon — post-Saddam Iraq is quick to condemn the Jewish state, which, not incidentally, it also continues to boycott with the rest of the Arab League. …

Onto Afghanistan.

… where, even if another military success were to be scored, the chance of that benighted land being transformed into anything significantly better is not just remote but less likely than a Yeti.

  • johnchristophersunol

    I agree it needs to be goverfned by Christ, and taken away from Shia law. This law is not good, very undemocratic and will unltimately destroy a nation