“It is hard to tell which is worse; the wide diffusion of things that are not true, or the suppression of things that are true.” — Harriet Martineau, 1802–1876.
I find it disconcerting that so many individuals find it necessary to debate a superfluous point of view regarding the blame for ISIL. There can be little doubt that G.W. Bush planted the seeds of what was to become ISIL when he chose to disband but not disarm Saddam Hussein’s army. However, ISIL was already there, perhaps under a different name.
Our only achievement has been to destabilize a region that had already been in a state constant turmoil for over 2,000 years. We set the stage for ISIL to succeed. Our allies play both sides of the street. The British, French, Russians, Romans, Mongols, Ottoman, Byzantine,Turks and the Catholic church (among others) all made military forays into the region. It is a stunning testimony to our arrogance that we would think our outcome would be any different.
Through the prism of 20/20 hindsight, many on the right are now claiming our involvement was a mistake. Even Donald Rumsfeld is practicing a version of revisionist history contradicting what he said on video years ago. The larger questions that go unanswered: Is our security now better or worse by removing Saddam Hussein and Gaddafi? Are enough of our patriots dead or crippled by this exercise in futility . There is no workable plan. Blame? Seriously, get a clue. Pull the plug.
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Michael R. Sweeney