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How the War Party Lost the Middle East
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“Assad must go, Obama says.”

So read the headline in The Washington Post, Aug. 18, 2011.

The story quoted President Barack Obama directly:

“The future of Syria must be determined by its people, but President Bashar al-Assad is standing in their way. … the time has come for President Assad to step aside.”

France’s Nicolas Sarkozy and Britain’s David Cameron signed on to the Obama ultimatum: Assad must go!

Seven years and 500,000 dead Syrians later, it is Obama, Sarkozy and Cameron who are gone. Assad still rules in Damascus, and the 2,000 Americans in Syria are coming home. Soon, says President Donald Trump.

But we cannot “leave now,” insists Sen. Lindsey Graham, or “the Kurds are going to get slaughtered.”

Question: Who plunged us into a Syrian civil war, and so managed our intervention that were we to go home after seven years our enemies will be victorious and our allies will “get slaughtered”?

Seventeen years ago, the U.S. invaded Afghanistan to oust the Taliban for granting sanctuary to al-Qaida and Osama bin Laden.

U.S. diplomat Zalmay Khalilzad is today negotiating for peace talks with that same Taliban. Yet, according to former CIA director Mike Morell, writing in The Washington Post today, the “remnants of al-Qaeda work closely” with today’s Taliban.

It would appear that 17 years of fighting in Afghanistan has left us with these alternatives: Stay there, and fight a forever war to keep the Taliban out of Kabul, or withdraw and let the Taliban overrun the place.

Who got us into this debacle?

After Trump flew into Iraq over Christmas but failed to meet with its president, the Iraqi Parliament, calling this a “U.S. disregard for other nations’ sovereignty” and a national insult, began debating whether to expel the 5,000 U.S. troops still in their country.

George W. Bush launched Operation Iraq Freedom to strip Saddam Hussein of WMD he did not have and to convert Iraq into a democracy and Western bastion in the Arab and Islamic world.

Fifteen years later, Iraqis are debating our expulsion.

Muqtada al-Sadr, the cleric with American blood on his hands from the fighting of a decade ago, is leading the charge to have us booted out. He heads the party with the largest number of members in the parliament.

Consider Yemen. For three years, the U.S. has supported with planes, precision-guided munitions, air-to-air refueling and targeting information, a Saudi war on Houthi rebels that degenerated into one of the worst humanitarian disasters of the 21st century.

Belatedly, Congress is moving to cut off U.S. support for this war. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, its architect, has been condemned by Congress for complicity in the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the consulate in Istanbul. And the U.S. is seeking a truce in the fighting.

Who got us into this war? And what have years of killing Yemenis, in which we have been collaborators, done to make Americans safer?

Consider Libya. In 2011, the U.S. attacked the forces of dictator Moammar Gadhafi and helped to effect his ouster, which led to his murder.

Told of news reports of Gadhafi’s death, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton joked, “We came, we saw, he died.”

ORDER IT NOW

The Libyan conflict has since produced tens of thousands of dead. The output of Libya’s crucial oil industry has collapsed to a fraction of what it was. In 2016, Obama said that not preparing for a post-Gadhafi Libya was probably the “worst mistake” of his presidency.

The price of all these interventions for the United States?

Some 7,000 dead, 40,000 wounded and trillions of dollars.

For the Arab and Muslim world, the cost has been far greater. Hundreds of thousands of dead in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, and Libya, civilian and soldier alike, pogroms against Christians, massacres, and millions uprooted and driven from their homes.

How has all this invading, bombing and killing made the Middle East a better place or Americans more secure? One May 2018 poll of young people in the Middle East and North Africa found that more of them felt that Russia was a closer partner than was the United States of America.

The fruits of American intervention?

We are told ISIS is not dead but alive in the hearts of tens of thousands of Muslims, that if we leave Syria and Afghanistan, our enemies will take over and our friends will be massacred, and that if we stop helping Saudis and Emiratis kill Houthis in Yemen, Iran will notch a victory.

In his decision to leave Syria and withdraw half of the 14,000 troops in Afghanistan, Trump enraged our foreign policy elites, though millions of Americans cannot get out of there soon enough.

In Monday’s editorial celebrating major figures of foreign policy in the past half-century, The New York Times wrote, “As these leaders pass from the scene, it will be left to a new generation to find a way forward from the wreckage Mr. Trump has already created.”

Correction: Make that “the wreckage Mr. Trump inherited.”

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of “Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever.”

Copyright 2019 Creators.com.

 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: American Military, Iraq War, Neocons 
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  1. War profiteers. The dregs of humanity.

    • Agree: Realist
    • Replies: @Anonymous
  2. Rational says:

    ISRAEL IS THE CANCER.

    Thanks, Sir. You make good points.

    The reason our politicians are involved in the Middle East is because Zionist thugs bribe and blackmail our politicians, with campaign contributions or threaten them with phoney scandals in their media, if they do not send our troops to fight and die for Israel or do not give foreign aid to Israel.

    Israel is a criminal state and a cancer of the world, of civilization and of mankind.

    Israel must go.

    • Agree: apollonian
    • Replies: @El Dato
  3. Realist says:

    Buchanan writes this article as if our government is legitimate. The fact is the important parts of our government are controlled by the elite. The important parts are any asspect of the government that can gain and maintain power and wealth for the Deep State/Elite. The petty internecine squabbles between parties or factions are of no concern to the elite and they provide confusion of the electorate and cover for the true power center.

    • Replies: @anonymous
    , @Herald
  4. APilgrim says:

    Excellent Questions, Mr. Buchanan.

    Question: Who plunged us into a Syrian civil war, and so managed our intervention that were we to go home after seven years our enemies will be victorious and our allies will “get slaughtered”?

    Who got us into this debacle?

    Who got us into this war? And what have years of killing Yemenis, in which we have been collaborators, done to make Americans safer?

    How has all this invading, bombing and killing made the Middle East a better place or Americans more secure?

    • Replies: @Realist
    , @tac
  5. APilgrim says:

    Are comments turned off?

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  6. anonymous[340] • Disclaimer says:

    “.. , and the 2,000 Americans in Syria are coming home. Soon, says President Donald Trump.” Don’t hold your breath, says I.

    And when will Mr. Buchanan write about Uncle Sam in other than the first (“we, us, our”) person? Not soon enough.

  7. anonymous[340] • Disclaimer says:
    @Realist

    Going apes**t about transgender statues and Confederate bathrooms is who we are.

    • Replies: @Realist
  8. That was a most excellent column and summation of the reality of American Neocon Middle Eastern foreign policy, Mr. Buchanan. This is in contrast to many columns written by supposedly conservative pundits, including yourself, in which the questions asked are “what should WE do about Mr. ____ of _____?” “Who should WE support in this or this other conflict?”, etc.

    No, WE need to just get the hell out of their business. We don’t need to care about who’s taking over which country, what minorities are getting pushed out of one portion of one shithole to another, or who’s allied with whom. Just GET OUT, STAY OUT, and maybe leave a couple of diplomats earning hazard pay in a small consulate or office there for communications, the way it’s supposed to be (you know your history, Pat).

    BTW, I also like the headline, as the column reads that the “War Party” includes both squads of The Party, the blue and the red. I agree with this assessment.

  9. @APilgrim

    APilgrim, there is a latency period for the first few (probably a variable set by the columnist or webmaster) comments for any one of the articles/blogs/columns. Maybe it’s to avoid the whole “I’m first!” thing or for something more serious like spam prevention, I dunno. You don’t get the 5-minute edit window, so if you see no comments so far, use preview mode. Then, assume your comment will make it – is seems to always for me.

  10. “Who got us into this debacle?”

    I’ll give you a hint, Pat: their sabbath begins at sundown on Fridays.

  11. @anonymous

    Pat’s 80 years old. He’s not changing. That’s just how he feels. But I totally understand how you feel, too. Maybe you stopped loving America when America stopped being lovely.

    • Replies: @anonymous
  12. RVBlake says:
    @anonymous

    Lindsay Graham has been blabbing to news sources about his productive private lunch with Trump last Sunday. He and the Chairman of JCS are now talking about the more “reasonable” withdrawal of American troops from Syria over a period of 4 months.

  13. RVBlake says:

    Guess I’m behind, didn’t know we had 5,000 troops still in Iraq. I though Obama pulled them out in 2011, which caused much angst and wailing from the usual suspects. The Iraqi parliament should expel us, we haven’t the brains to leave on our own.

    • Replies: @anonymous
  14. In today’s feature story on Unz, Phil Giraldi again fearlessly tells it like it is: “Israel is Bad for America.” Yet Pat fails to go there, even though he must know that Giraldi is right. Mr. Buchanan, you are 80 years old, when are you going to come clean and tell the whole truth, not just part of it?

    I agree with the others who are fed up with Buchanan words like “we” when referring to the War Party. Tens of millions of us have objected to US foreign policy all along. “We” had nothing to do with it.

  15. @RVBlake

    As long as neocon war hawk Lindsay Graham remains in the Senate, the ghost of the “great American” (lol) John McCain will live on.

    • Replies: @Mr. XYZ
  16. anonymous[340] • Disclaimer says:
    @RVBlake

    Lengthening the lie.

  17. anonymous[340] • Disclaimer says:
    @RVBlake

    “Us”? “We”?

    It’s tough to break the habit, but Americans who still fall for this pronoun propaganda need to wake up. Identifying with the Establishment is what keeps them voting like sheep every two years, letting a Beltway fixture fret on their behalf while they await the next Most Important Election Ever.

  18. anonymous[340] • Disclaimer says:
    @Sir Launcelot Canning

    What makes you think that I may have stopped loving America?

    • Replies: @Bill Jones
  19. MEexpert says:

    Trump’s backtracking has already started. First it was immediate pull out. Now it will take four months. A week later, it will be six months and then a year and so it will go on.

    • Replies: @Realist
    , @Justsaying
  20. Realist says:
    @anonymous

    That’s my point.

    • Replies: @anonymous
  21. Realist says:
    @APilgrim

    The answer to all the who questions is the Deep State.

  22. Realist says:
    @RVBlake

    He and the Chairman of JCS are now talking about the more “reasonable” withdrawal of American troops from Syria over a period of 4 months.

    Then 4 years…then 4 decades.

    • Agree: RVBlake
  23. Realist says:
    @MEexpert

    A week later, it will be six months and then a year and so it will go on.

    Correct.

  24. anonymous[340] • Disclaimer says:
    @Realist

    Yes, and it was well made. I was just reiterating.

    • Replies: @Realist
  25. Realist says:
    @anonymous

    Yes, I understand….I didn’t mean to sound dismissive.

  26. Ronald says: • Website

    How sad it is that this kind of rational, common sense analysis isn’t coming from Democrats. The reason even good people like AOC are silenced? Our wars, and the terrible devastation we are visiting on the Middle East is perceived as good for Israel.
    So far our daily lives have been relatively untouched by the awful ruin and uncountable suffering the US and Israel have delivered and wish to keep delivering.
    How much longer will we be cushioned? Don’t we live on the same planet?
    Ronald

    • Replies: @NoseytheDuke
    , @neutral
  27. Ruprecht says:

    Thanks for engaging in a grown-up discussion, Mr. Buchanan.

    There are steep costs that come with empire, and the people are never told of what those are, or what they may become. The news media has become a joke, serving domestic political parties instead of reporting honestly.

    It’s sad the only realistic explanations come from alternative media, like here. This one is another good example:

    https://theredfootedbooby.com/2018/12/26/an-honest-talk-about-war-and-empire/

  28. anon[355] • Disclaimer says:

    “..lost the middle east”.

    How can you lose what you have never had?

    The only sane policy is to get out and stay out.

  29. Get out. Stay out. Never go back. Let the cretins of the ME return to type and export the ones we have here.

    • Replies: @anon
  30. anon[538] • Disclaimer says:
    @Unrepentant Conservative

    Let the cretins of the ME return to type and export the ones we have here.

    That export thing — does that include Jews?

  31. @Ronald

    Rational common sense isn’t coming from Republicans either. The left/right nonsense is just that, nonsense. There is a war going on, it’s being waged against the American people (and the rest of the world) by both Democrats and Republicans, it’s a pincer movement from the left and the right with both serving the same forces based in NY, London and Tel Aviv.

    You are correct in that it will come to a head soon enough and it will be bad for all of us.

    • Agree: bluedog, Rurik
  32. Virgile says:

    Pat Buchanan does not give any answers to the questions he puts. The reason is simple: Pat Buchanan will not give the name of the main forces behind the Middle East foreign policy deadly debacle as
    we all know who they are and he knows that we know. No need to express it.

  33. swamped says:

    “Correction: Make that ‘the wreckage Mr. Trump inherited.’”
    Correction: Make that ‘the wreckage Mr. Trump inherited’ made possible with the connivance of the New York Times and the rest of the fake news. Keep up true journalism, Mr. Buchanan, thank you.

  34. @MEexpert

    Trump committed the unforgivable mistake of not asking for his master’s (Israel’s) permission first. The main explanation for the instant backtracking on his America First move.

  35. neutral says:
    @Ronald

    How sad it is that this kind of rational, common sense analysis isn’t coming from Democrats.

    Take one guess on which group is by far the biggest donor to the Democrat party.

  36. Anonymous[354] • Disclaimer says:
    @WorkingClass

    War and destruction is what makes our species homo rapiens so very human; war is the force that gives us meaning.

    The destruction of the natural world [including incessant war] is not the result of global capitalism, industrialisation, “Western civilisation” or any flaw in human institutions. It is a consequence of the evolutionary success of an exceptionally rapacious primate. — John Gray, STRAW DOGS

    Source: War Socialism

  37. ‘How has all this invading, bombing and killing made the Middle East a better place or Americans more secure? ‘

    Nu? This is only evidence of failure if one assumes making the Middle East a better place or Americans more secure was the goal in the first place.

    Do all go in fear of provoking Israel’s wrath? Will American largess continue to flow to her in an ever-widening and deepening stream? Has increased Islamophobia on our part and hatred of America on the part of the Muslim world helped to ensure the Forever War will indeed continue forever? Is Europe swiftly being destabilized and brought into the arena of conflict?

    Like anything else, our policy should be analyzed in terms of its goals. I think it’s all been a rousing success.

  38. istevefan says:

    The price of all these interventions for the United States?

    Some 7,000 dead, 40,000 wounded and trillions of dollars.

    Perhaps most costly is the fact that the muslim population has more than doubled in the USA since 9-11, and the interventions in the middle east have been used as an excuse to flood Europe with millions more. We now have large enclaves of an alien, hostile population living in our nations where once they never were, or they had been pushed out centuries ago.

    The cost will continue to be paid for years and years as we now will have to adapt to a population in our midst that up to recently wasn’t here. It will make the costs we have paid up to now pale in comparison.

    • Replies: @anon
    , @Mr. XYZ
  39. rok53 says:

    Obama and Hillary turned the middle east over to the Muslim Brotherhood.
    With the exception of Syria and Egypt(military trained by Americans)
    Before this Christians an homosexuals were fairly safe. Now homos are
    tossed off tall buildings and Christians done away with using many methods.

    • Replies: @anon
    , @Colin Wright
  40. anon[538] • Disclaimer says:
    @rok53

    Now homos are
    tossed off tall buildings and Christians done away with using many methods.

    – – – probably a Trump scheme to build more Trump towers.

    but — are there really enough homos being tossed off buildings to justify the investment in a tall building?
    In Iran, the Islamic State provides sex change operations freely; Khomeini considered such service a necessary act of compassion. Tehran is a center for such programs.
    No Trump towers for Tehran!

  41. anon[355] • Disclaimer says:
    @istevefan

    America would have been vastly better off if it had used 9/11 as the reason for ending Immigration rather then fighting a pointless war in Iraq. Muslims can’t hurt Americans in America if they are not IN America. Physical impossibility.

  42. tac says:
    @APilgrim

    Who got us into this debacle?

    Cui Bono …. over the last 17 years of ME interventions?

    Clue:

    SYRIA: ISRAEL’S INVISIBLE HAND
    Ry Dawson:

    https://www.bitchute.com/video/qMbXJzvniqPe/

  43. @RVBlake

    ‘…He and the Chairman of JCS are now talking about the more “reasonable” withdrawal of American troops from Syria over a period of 4 months.’

    Israel needs to dream up and implement the appropriate black flag operation. Outraged, we will then stay.

    Hence the delay. These things take time.

  44. @rok53

    ‘Obama and Hillary turned the middle east over to the Muslim Brotherhood.
    With the exception of Syria and Egypt(military trained by Americans)
    Before this Christians an homosexuals were fairly safe. Now homos are
    tossed off tall buildings and Christians done away with using many methods.’

    This almost perfectly reverses the truth. In fact, the Christians of Syria support Assad, whom we have been trying to weaken. In Egypt, the military regimes, both past and present, have customarily let the Muslim poor use the Christians as scapegoats for their misery. This actually ended under the Muslim Brotherhood government, which insisted on enforcing the Quranic strictures concerning toleration. It has now resumed.

    If you want to be spit on as a Christian, I suggest a nice Orthodox Jewish neighborhood in Israel, not a Muslim country.

  45. Rurik says:

    How has all this invading, bombing and killing made the Middle East a better place or Americans more secure?

    I see six million was not enough for Patrick J. Buchannan!

    Sieg Heil!

    The New York Times wrote, “As these leaders pass from the scene, it will be left to a new generation to find a way forward from the wreckage Mr. Trump has already created.”

    like blaming Putin for the strife in Ukraine, these shameless liars are in a class all by themselves.

    keep telling your lies, and one day the hundredth monkey will open his eyes.

    It was not suddently bred.

    It will not swiftly abate.

    Through the chilled years ahead,

    When Time shall count from the date…

  46. anon[228] • Disclaimer says:

    Trump: Afghan Invasion Bankrupted the Soviet Union
    Comments lead to media questioning war’s well-documented history
    Jason Ditz Posted on January 2, 2019Categories NewsTags Afghanistan, Soviet Union, Trump

    In comments Wednesday, President Trump caused a substantial stir in noting the Soviet Union’s collapse in the wake of their disastrous war in Afghanistan. This caused a flurry of backlash in the media questioning the historical accuracy of the statement.

    Trump said that the Soviet Union was bankrupted by the Afghan War, leading an official at the American Enterprise Institute claiming the cost of the war was “an insignificant portion of the Soviet GDP.” http://www.antiwar.com

    The warmongers are revisiting and resurrecting their 1979 lies and ignoring the truths expressed by Zhronovesky -Carters Cabinet member who confirmed US was baiting Soviet to attack by creating Terrorist cells ( Mujhaeddin )

    Now They want US to commit more because ” the invasion did not bankrupt USSR ” But it has already US.

    • Replies: @El Dato
  47. El Dato says:
    @Rational

    Pat somehow manages to not mention Israel once.

    Cancers have to be named before treatment may commence.

    We are still at the point where homeopathy is considered a possible remedy.

    Pray that the host survives long enough.

    • Replies: @anon
  48. El Dato says:
    @anon

    Trump said that the Soviet Union was bankrupted by the Afghan War, leading an official at the American Enterprise Institute claiming the cost of the war was “an insignificant portion of the Soviet GDP.”

    Before ~2010: “Afghan war killed the USSR, anyone saying this is not so is a Russian symapthizer to be ostracized”.

    After ~2010: “Afghan war did not kill the USSR, anyone saying this is so is a Russian
    symapthizer to be ostracized”.

    I guess the US is now nearly fully bankrupt.

    Gassing the AEI would be humanitarian at this point. Maybe PETA can do something?

  49. anon[538] • Disclaimer says:
    @El Dato

    coitus interruptus

  50. Mr. XYZ says:
    @follyofwar

    Let’s hope that coming out and find a man to settle down with is going to calm down Miss Lindsey a bit–wouldn’t you agree?

  51. Mr. XYZ says:
    @istevefan

    The U.S. might mostly be getting the high-quality Muslims, though.

    • Replies: @APilgrim
  52. @anonymous

    Canning confuses America, as does Paddy, with the filth infesting it

  53. APilgrim says:
    @Mr. XYZ

    ‘High-Quality-Muslim’ is an Oxymoron … like Jumbo-Shrimp

    • Replies: @NoseytheDuke
  54. @APilgrim

    Thanks to your comments I’ve come to understand that APilgrim is also an oxymoron, an oxygen-mouth-breathing moron.

  55. anon[355] • Disclaimer says:

    As juvenile and lame as comments can get sport.

  56. Herald says:
    @Realist

    “Buchanan writes this article as if our government is legitimate.” This is standard Buchanan stuff. He always starts from the unlikely premise that the US is a well intentioned but blundering superpower. Until Pat wakes up and smells the coffee his articles will never be more than slightly interesting at best and perhaps more realistically may well be seen as deliberate disinformation.

    • Agree: Realist
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