March 19 was the 13th anniversary of the American invasion of Iraq. Today, as noted by Antiwar News’ Jason Ditz, US Marines have been deployed in Kurdistan in order to aid Iraqi forces as they attempt to take back oil fields from the Islamic State. In full, shameless JFK-in-Vietnam mode, the fact that there are combat troops in Iraq is not to be mentioned or overstressed. No, these aren’t advisers, they’re just helping the Iraqi forces, these marines. Who are on the front lines.
This is our Iraq in 2016, starring some 3200 American soldiers. This is the nation that has suffered the deaths of up to 175,000 civilians since the US decided Saddam Hussein had to go. This is the war which Barack Obama allegedly ended in 2011. This is the war that was sold as a heroic intervention to prevent a mad dictator from using weapons of mass destruction, and dipped an entire region into civil war and gave us a new theocratic mob that scares even Al-Qaeda.
And damn, the Islamic State is chilling. They appear to be both more brutal and potentially more competent than Al-Qaeda, in that they’ve discovered the savvy tactic of decentralized terror attacks that require only a few people to pull off. It would be great if something or someone stopped their spread.
And yet, is the US slowly dribbling back into a war it never really stopped fighting going to do that? Remember when the Taliban was the worst group possible? And then Al-Qaeda? Remember, before that, when the Mujahideen could save Afghanistan from the horrible, Godless Soviets?
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