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Terrorism Rises in Iraq: Al Qaeda Fighters Wrestle for Control of Fallujah

resident George W. Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair shake hands after they conclude a joint news conference at the Camp David, March 27, 2003. "The United States and United Kingdom are acting together in a noble purpose. We're working together to make the world more peaceful; we're working together to make our respective nations and all the free nations of the world more secure; and we're working to free the Iraqi people," President Bush said. [White House photo by Paul Morse]

resident George W. Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair shake hands after they conclude a joint news conference at the Camp David, March 27, 2003. “The United States and United Kingdom are acting together in a noble purpose. We’re working together to make the world more peaceful; we’re working together to make our respective nations and all the free nations of the world more secure; and we’re working to free the Iraqi people,” President Bush said.
[White House photo by Paul Morse]

THE WORLD President George W. Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair imagined when they foolishly decided to shoot for regime change and to “make the world more peaceful” was never going to end well. This fantasy revolved around U.S. troops maintaining a presence in Iraq until the end of time. The proof is now playing out on the ground.

From reporting by the Washington Post:

In Fallujah, where Marines fought the bloodiest battle of the Iraq war in 2004, the militants appeared to have the upper hand, underscoring the extent to which the Iraqi security forces have struggled to sustain the gains made by U.S. troops before they withdrew in December 2011.

The upheaval also affirmed the soaring capabilities of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), the rebranded version of the al-Qaeda in Iraq organization that was formed a decade ago to confront U.S. troops and expanded into Syria last year while escalating its activities in Iraq. Roughly a third of the 4,486 U.S. troops killed in Iraq died in Anbar trying to defeat al-Qaeda in Iraq, nearly 100 of them in the November 2004 battle for control of Fallujah, the site of America’s bloodiest confrontation since the Vietnam War.

Neoconservatives, led by Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham, will say we should never have left Iraq. These people never learn the lessons of history.

It’s not just Iraq that’s feeling the whip of President Bush’s failed foreign policy adventure in Iraq. Bush’s action in Iraq led us away from Afghanistan and let that country spiral out of control.

These problems were dumped in President Obama’s lap when he arrived in Washington.

The result has been the longest war in U.S. history that will have its own final chapter that will be as ugly as what’s playing out in Iraq right now, with bipartisan blame to go around for both calamities.

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4 Responses to Terrorism Rises in Iraq: Al Qaeda Fighters Wrestle for Control of Fallujah

  1. mjsmith January 4, 2014 at 8:26 am #

    What lengths should the Iraqi government go to stop these groups mentioned in the Washington Post that are attacking these groups?

    I fell the US and the rest of the civilized World should not help, aid, fund, arm, and train these terror groups. Instead I feel we should do whatever we can to help the Iraqi government defeat these radical militants.

  2. casualobserver January 4, 2014 at 10:44 am #

    While the decision to invade Iraq was indeed controversial and the prosecution of the war after the toppling of the Saddam statue deplorable, I fail to see any convincing logic that the events of 10 years ago has anything to do with whether centuries of sectarian violence continues to take place in Iraq. The Sunnis have always generally had control in the southern desert territory and if Saddam was still in control that would certainly be the case. There is no historical evidence the Shiite population would now be likely to be receiving deference and freedom from harm if there had been an absence of “regime change”. The “it’s Bush’s fault” meme falls flat.

  3. PeggySue January 4, 2014 at 6:03 pm #

    You must be kidding! Blaming the Bush Administration ‘falls flat’ only if you ignore what they did– the insane 1% doctrine that whitewashes our unlawful invasion and occupation of sovereign countries for the sake of ideology and resource exploitation; the twisting and sickening abuse of domestic and international law regarding torture and endless imprisonment without due process; the stupid and cruel destruction of civil and cultural structures, leaving a vulnerable population to twist in the wind; the massive hubris of Bush, Cheney & Co. that made a mockery of our own democratic principles.

    They lied to the American public. They lied to the world. The lies cost the lives of more Americans than were lost in 9/11. The lies cost anywhere from 500,000 to 1 million lives in Iraq. The lies cost somewhere in the neighborhood of 3-4 trillion dollars. Throw in Afghanistan and long-term projections and the American expenditure is projected at 6 trillion dollars.

    The Bush Administration should have been brought up on charges for what they did. We’re living with the blowback of years of gross political mismanagement and incredible arrogance. We blew Iraq apart and claimed ‘Mission Accomplished.’ And now we claim no responsibility as Iraq wobbles and teeters toward civil war? Yes, there was sectarian strife and hostility all along. But the Bush crowd poured gasoline on a volatile ethnic/religious mix then threw a match, proclaiming it all good, done in the name of ‘Fre-e-edom!’

    President Obama may be a disappointment with flaws of his own but he was handed a gigantic political and economic mess when he stepped into office. We’re struggling to recover from that mess even now. The Iraqis are still living in the deadly mess the Bush people crafted in our name. That reality and the destructive effects of the Bush/Cheney legacy are unlikely to ‘fall flat’ anytime soon.

  4. Jane Austen January 5, 2014 at 7:41 am #

    We never seem to learn the lessons of history. War only creates more war. Bush, Cheney et al were either too stupid or too egotistical to think out what they were creating. Now the world is stuck with a situation that can only get worse before it gets better, whatever better means. What I resent most is that Bush & Co. did it in the name of the American people, meaning me. I had no say in the matter.

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