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Iraq: The ‘Liberation’ Neocons Would Rather Forget

January 6, 2014 by  

Remember Fallujah? Shortly after the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the U.S. military fired on unarmed protestors, killing as many as 20 and wounding dozens. In retaliation, local Iraqis attacked a convoy of U.S. military contractors, killing four. The U.S. then launched a full attack on Fallujah to regain control, which left perhaps 700 Iraqis dead and the city virtually destroyed.

According to press reports last weekend, Fallujah is now under the control of al-Qaida affiliates. The Anbar province, where Fallujah is located, is under siege by al-Qaida. During the 2007 “surge,” more than 1,000 U.S. troops were killed “pacifying” the Anbar province. Although al-Qaida was not in Iraq before the U.S. invasion, it is now conducting its own surge in Anbar.

For Iraq, the U.S. “liberation” is proving far worse than the authoritarianism of Saddam Hussein, and it keeps getting worse. Last year was Iraq’s deadliest in five years. In 2013, fighting and bomb blasts claimed the lives of 7,818 civilians and 1,050 members of the security forces. In December alone, nearly 1,000 people were killed.

I remember sitting through many hearings in the House International Relations Committee praising the “surge,” which we were told secured a U.S. victory in Iraq. They also praised the so-called “Awakening,” which was really an agreement by insurgents to stop fighting in exchange for U.S. dollars. I always wondered what would happen when those dollars stopped coming.

Where are the surge and awakening cheerleaders now?

One of them, Richard Perle, was interviewed last year on NPR and asked whether the Iraq invasion that he pushed was worth it. He replied:

I’ve got to say I think that is not a reasonable question. What we did at the time was done in the belief that it was necessary to protect this nation. You can’t a decade later go back and say, well, we shouldn’t have done that.

Many of us were saying all along that we shouldn’t have done that — before we did it. Unfortunately, the George W. Bush Administration took the advice of the neocons pushing for war and promising it would be a “cakewalk.” We continue to see the results of that terrible mistake, and it is only getting worse.

Last month, the U.S. shipped nearly 100 air-to-ground missiles to the Iraqi air force to help combat the surging al-Qaida. Ironically, the same al-Qaida groups the U.S. is helping the Iraqis combat are benefiting from the U.S. covert and overt war to overthrow Bashar Assad next door in Syria. Why can’t the U.S. government learn from its mistakes?

The neocons may be on the run from their earlier positions on Iraq, but that does not mean they have given up. They were the ones pushing for an attack on Syria this summer. Thankfully, they were not successful. They are now making every effort to derail President Barack Obama’s efforts to negotiate with the Iranians. Just last week, William Kristol urged Israel to attack Iran with the hope we would then get involved. Neoconservative Senators from both parties recently introduced the Nuclear Weapon Free Iran Act of 2013, which would also bring us back on war-footing with Iran.

Next time the neocons tell us we must attack, just think “Iraq.”

Ron Paul

Former Representative Ron Paul has maintained a steadfast consistency in speaking out against executive power, taxation and war. Unlike many of his Republican peers, as a Congressman, he voted against the Patriot Act and against the Iraq war. He has voted against farm subsidies and regulating the Internet, which is in line with his interest in reducing government spending and the role of the Federal government. Paul has also expressed his opposition to the war on drugs, saying that the government's efforts have actually been a war on doctors. These and other controversial opinions have often caused tension with his Republican counterparts. Paul is the author of many books, including End The Fed, Liberty Defined and Revolution: A Manifesto. Along with a lengthy political career as a Congressman and Presidential candidate, Paul has also worked as a respected obstetrician in his home State of Texas. Since his retirement from Congress in 2013, Paul has stayed busy encouraging Americans to fight for liberty by founding the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity and his own news channel.

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