I am sure that most Americans will let this auspicious anniversary slide away without much notice….so let me be the first to let you know…..
This week we shall celebrate the 14th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq…….
What: The American conquest of Baghdad
When: 3-14 April 2003
Where: Baghdad, Iraq
After the United States led an illegal international coalition to invade Iraq on 20 March 2003 under the pretext of destroying Iraqi President Saddam Hussein’s fictional weapons of mass destruction stockpile, the main strategic target for the so-called “Coalition of the Willing” was the capital of Baghdad itself.
To sow discord in the Iraqi army’s command structure and to force the Iraqis to fight outside the city rather than within it, the coalition heavily bombed their rear areas in Baghdad itself. The Americans feared what would happen if the fighting degenerated into urban warfare, calculating that their losses would be very high. By heavily bombarding Baghdad itself, they thus forced the Iraqis to commit most of their forces outside the city limits where they were largely destroyed
I bring all this up because the rhetoric flying around the most recent missile strike in Syria……we could be about to do the same thing all over again only in Syria this time…….
After the Soviet Union launched a full-scale invasion of Afghanistan in December 1979, President Jimmy Carter remarked to a television interviewer that this event had “made a more dramatic change in my opinion of what the Soviets’ ultimate goals are than anything they’ve done in the previous time I’ve been in office.”
Carter took much criticism for this comment, with charges that he was revealing naiveté and should have known all along about the nature of the regime he was confronting. But at least the Soviet military intervention was a very large data point — a major departure in Soviet policy that was far different in scale from the use of a particular weapon in one encounter during an ongoing war.
One missile strike does not an invasion make……but the rhetoric seems to indicate something is brewing……the US needs to beat due diligence to avoid “mission creep” in Syria…….
On April 6, President Donald Trump ordered a cruise missile strike against the Syrian airfield used by the warplanes that launched last week’s chemical attack against Syrian civilians.
This strike was an appropriate, proportional, and carefully calibrated response for the Assad regime’s repeated use of illegal chemical weapons.
While it was a bold tactical strike that sent a powerful message that Syrian President Bashar Assad’s behavior was unacceptable, it is merely the opening bid in what is likely to develop into a protracted diplomatic crisis.
Trump reacted viscerally to the pictures of poisoned babies and moved decisively to launch the punitive reprisal. But that limited military action is unlikely to be decisive in and of itself.
The best advice has come from those who know…in this case it is the Iraqi war veterans…..
Almost as soon as the first cruise missile struck Syrian government forces Thursday evening, a furious debate over the prudence of the action began to build. While the strike was among the first actions taken by President Donald Trump to garner bipartisan support from lawmakers, it generated intense criticism within much of Trump’s base. This includes veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan, many of whom were drawn to Trump’s campaign message of avoiding entanglement in Middle Eastern conflicts, particularly in regards to Syria.
“I was hoping for non-intervention foreign policy. I didn’t expect him to cave so soon,” said Michael Mazzuto, a Marine Corps Infantry Sergeant who served in Fallujah, Iraq in 2005, and was wounded in Ramadi in 2006, “With Hillary, I think they would have bombed a month sooner, but I don’t think there’s any difference now.”
Sage advice from those that have lived the war……will it be enough for those advisers to pay attention? My guess is no…….there is money to be made and that will be the ONLY policy.