2015 December 05 Saturday
Mistake To Overthrow Saddam Hussein, Moammar Gadhafi

I think the next president of the United States should be someone who realizes that the Iraq invasion and the Libya bombing to overthrow the Libyan government of Qaddafi/Gadhafi/Gaddafi/Qadhafi. Mike Flynn is unusual among military leaders in bluntly describing the scale of these mistakes.

Without the Iraq war, Islamic State wouldn't exist today, former US special forces chief Mike Flynn openly admits. In an interview, he explains IS' rise to become a professional force and how the Americans allowed its future leader to slip out of their hands.

A huge error.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: ... the Iraq war?

Flynn: It was huge error. As brutal as Saddam Hussein was, it was a mistake to just eliminate him. The same is true for Moammar Gadhafi and for Libya, which is now a failed state. The historic lesson is that it was a strategic failure to go into Iraq. History will not be and should not be kind with that decision.

One of the presidential candidates, Hillary Clinton, played an active role in favor of doin the Libyan mistake. Doing this after the Iraq mistake is a bigger mistake than the Iraq mistake because it was done with knowledge of many bad outcomes of the Iraq mistake. US support for the overthrow of Bashar al-Assad is a mistake in the same vein.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2015 December 05 09:34 AM 

tanabear said at December 5, 2015 11:31 AM:

Old timey conservative Russell Kirk wrote in his Introduction to the Conservative Reader: "Conservatives prefer the devil they know to the devil they don't know." This would have been wise advice to follow circa 2002, 2003. But, alas, George Bush and the neo-cons knew better than the accumulated wisdom of the sages and ages.

Common sense on the Iraq War is another reason to support Trump.

Black Death said at December 5, 2015 11:50 AM:

Interesting article - thanks for the link. Flynn makes a number of good points. Also, as you point out, the idiocy transcends two Administrations - Bush II and Obama. Hillary was indeed a gold-plated disaster as secretary of state - why anyone would consider her for president (or any other high position) is beyond me. As if the Libya catastrophe wasn't bad enough, she broke the law numerous times by using a private email server for classified material. Yet she's running for the White House, although she really belongs in the Big House.

I'm not sure I agree with Flynn's proposed solution, though. Any US "intervention" would be viewed as an invasion by the locals, no matter how pure our intentions. Enlisting Arab "partners" to fight ISIS is not likely to happen. The major Arab nations in the area, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf Sheikhdoms, are covertly supporting ISIS, because they fear Iran and the Arab Shiites. Plus, the Saudi air force is bombing the Iranian-aligned Houthis in Yemen. Turkey, which is Muslim but not Arab, supports ISIS by buying oil and allowing foreign fighters to transit its borders. Turkey is afraid that the Kurds, who hate the Turks, will set up their own nation of Kurdistan, which would include a big chunk of eastern Turkey.

But there are Arabs fighting ISIS - the Assad government and the Arab Shiite militias - plus the Iranians, who are mostly not Arabs, and the Kurds. Yet the US regards them as enemies as well. The Russians are fighting to support Assad by attacking his enemies, ISIS and non-ISIS. It is doubtful that they have enough influence to persuade Iran to give up its dream of a Shiite crescent extending from Tehran to Damascus (or even Beirut).

What a mess. I'm not sure that a boots-on-the-ground US military intervention will make things better.

jb said at December 6, 2015 8:38 AM:

Of course it was a mistake, but it was a mistake driven by internal politics, specifically white-hating racism. A quote from Peter Hitchens:

These strengths had been fading for some time, mainly due to poorly controlled mass immigration and to the march of political correctness. They had also been weakened by the failure of America’s conservative party – the Republicans – to fight on the cultural and moral fronts. . . They preferred to posture on the world stage. Scared of confronting Left-wing teachers and sexual revolutionaries at home, they could order soldiers to be brave on their behalf in far-off deserts.

Hitchens downplays race here for the obvious reasons but the plain fact is that the Republicans start overseas wars because they are afraid to confront the left's white-hating racism back home. When you're too cowardly or crooked (or you just don't care) to oppose what amounts to an extermination policy against your own people (who also happen to make up most of your political supporters) you've got to offer something to take the minds of your constituents off of the reality of your treason and failure and a foreign enemy is a traditional solution in such a situation. The whole practice of "Liberal Imperialism" (fighting overseas for ideas that don't work at home) is ultimately anti-nationalist and anti-white at its roots. A bit like the Soviets expanding so their people won't see freedom just beyond their borders.

Jim said at December 6, 2015 9:10 AM:

The original sin in our Middle East policy goes back to Truman ignoring the strongly expressed views of his Secretary of State George Marshall not to become involved in the internal conflicts of the Middle East. Japan is heavily dependent on Middle Eastern oil but Japan wisely avoided involvement in these conflicts. So today Japan doesn't have to worry in the slightest about Shia vs. Sunni, Turks vs. Kurds, Persians vs. Arabs, or what the hell is the difference between Turks and Turkmen?

Colmner said at December 18, 2015 4:01 PM:

>>"Mistake To Overthrow Saddam Hussein, Moammar Gadhafi"

Oh yeah, but three years ago we were so sure we were doing the right thing without any knowledge of reality, like fucken Orwellian Oceanians.

I've found some interesting stuff on who Kadafi REALLY was. I'm very sorry about the spelling, but I don't know why the fuck they now spell it Gaddafi? Maybe next year we'll go back to "Qaddafi" or "Khaddafi", who the fuck knows....

Anyway, in Libya he was the man! Even if we refuse to see, Libyans loved him, except of course that two or three thousand the CIA funded and armed to overthrow him. Hussein -Saddam, not Obama- and Moammar had levels of popularity Bush and Obama presidents can only dream of...


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