Right Web

Tracking militarists’ efforts to influence U.S. foreign policy

U.S. Blames Victims of Its own Failed Foreign Policies

As it did in Vietnam, the United States has strenuously sought to blame others for the mess it created by invading Iraq.

Inter Press Service

The events unraveling in the Middle East have proved that the vaunted “Arab Spring” has turned into a searing summer of wildfires exploding unpredictably in diverse Islamic fronts without competent firemen to hose down the unmanageable conflagration.

It confirms that Washington has lost its grip on managing and/or directing global politics according to its agenda.

Global events spinning out of its control is another sign of declining U.S. power. Its shrinking power has manifested in two main ways.

On the one hand, the U.S. has lost its way in the flowery rhetoric of President Obama. His grandstanding speech at Cairo University has ended in producing two extremes in Egypt: 1) the democracy of the Muslim Brotherhood led by Mohammed Morsi and 2) the military coup that overthrew the Morsi government elected by Egyptians.

Both situations have placed Washington in a dilemma: it could not act against the democratically elected government of Morsi nor could it act against the illegal coup of Gen. Abdel Fattah El Sisi. Action against Morsi would have been condemned as betraying Washington’s commitment to democratic principles.

And action against Sisi would have been against U.S. self-interests. Its power and options are so limited that it is left watching while Egypt slides into virtual chaos.

On the other hand, and more damagingly, the U.S. is sinking in a bottomless debt hole running into trillions, inhibiting its power to act as freely as it did in its hegemonic days.

In 2010, the Washington Post revealed that the Iraqi war has cost three trillion dollars. Quoting Prof. Joseph E. Stiglitz of Columbia University and Linda J. Bilmes of Harvard University, it said that “if anything, it [that number] is too low”.

Mark Thompson of Time reported that the real cost of the war on terror, since 9/11 (including the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan) is five trillion dollars. And counting.

A report by Brown University’s Watson Institute of International Studies put the total deaths at an “extremely conservative estimate” to be 225,000, with 365,000 wounded.

These grim statistics lead to the ineluctable question: after investing human capital, money and material, what has the U.S. got in return—other than an incurable cancer eating into its body politic?

Its advertised role in Iraq was to restore democracy and stabilise the divided nation. The strategy was to train and equip an Iraqi force to take on the responsibilities after the U.S. leaves Iraq.

According to estimates, the U.S. invested 25 billion dollars in building up the Iraqi forces alone. But when the armed forces of Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) / Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) attacked Mosul and Tikrit the American-trained Iraqi soldiers shed their military uniforms and fled.

Having withdrawn earlier, President Obama is dithering, not knowing whether to send troops again or not. Unable to face the reality of the total failure of U.S. policy, President Obama and the State Department are blaming Nouri al-Maliki, the prime minister who was handpicked and planted in Baghdad by Washington as their man.

It’s Vietnam all over again.

With a few exceptions, the failure of Big Powers to fix internal affairs of other troubled nations has been a recurring feature. Big Powers assume that they know the answer, and when their interventions fail they blame the victims of their misguided meddlesome politics.

Right now Washington is blaming Maliki for the rise ISIS forces advancing towards Baghdad.

In the Middle East, in particular, the interventions have undoubtedly exacerbated the ground situation, leading to a post-interventionist period of chaos.

Eventually, the burden of restoring normalcy falls in the laps of local regimes taking over from the foreign interventionists.

The legacy of the failed policies of the interventionists gathers a momentum of its own, adding to the burdens of the victims of interventionists.

The unbearable part of the post-interventionist period is the callous disregard of the interventionists for the consequences they leave behind.

At this point they disown total responsibility and gang up to accuse the victims of their follies, as if they had no hand in it. They pretend as if they have been the misunderstood do-gooders who were not allowed to fulfill their constructive role.

This is the ruse they adopt in the post-interventionist phase to absolve themselves and divert attention away from their responsibilities arising from misguided roles. They come in on the principle of Responsibility to Protect.

When they leave there is none to take on the “Responsibility for the Destruction and Chaos” they leave behind. Overnight they turn into Pontius Pilates passing the buck to victims of their destruction.

This washing of  hands, coupled with the tactic of blaming their victims, is absolutely hypocritical and counterproductive for their own domestic stability and that of the world at large.

Washington’s prescriptions for global cures are no better than the smallpox blankets offered to the Native American Indians.

These days they don’t offer infected blankets to their helpless victims. These days they send drones to wipe out those human beings they don’t like. It’s the same old death-dealing policy of human extermination but with different tools.

The world is lurching from crisis to crisis because the U.S.-led interventions are making bad situations worse.

H.L.D. Mahindapala is a senior Sri Lankan journalist residing in Australia.

Share RightWeb

Featured Profiles

Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is one of the Senate’s more vocal hawks, and one of the prime vacillators among Republicans between objecting to and supporting Donald Trump.


Ron Dermer is the Israeli ambassador to the United States and has deep connections to the Republican Party and the neoconservative movement.


The Washington-based American Enterprise Institute is a rightist think tank with a broad mandate covering a range of foreign and domestic policy issues that is known for its strong connections to neoconservatism and overseas debacles like the Iraq War.


Max Boot, neoconservative military historian at the Council on Foreign Relations, on Trump and Russia: “At every turn Trump is undercutting the ‘get tough on Russia’ message because he just can’t help himself, he just loves Putin too much.”


Since taking office Donald Trump has revealed an erratic and extremely hawkish approach to U.S. foreign affairs, which has been marked by controversial actions like dropping out of the Iran nuclear agreement that have raised tensions across much of the world and threatened relations with key allies.


Mike Huckabee, a former governor of Arkansas and an evangelical pastor, is a far-right pundit known for his hawkish policies and opposition to an Israeli peace deal with the Palestinians.


Nikki Haley, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, is known for her lock-step support for Israel and considered by some to be a future presidential candidate.


For media inquiries,
email rightwebproject@gmail.com

From the Wires

The Trumpian new regional order in the Middle East is predicated on strongman rule, disregard for human rights, Sunni primacy over Iran and other Shia centers of power, continued military support for pro-American warring parties regardless of the unlawfulness of such wars, and Israeli hegemony.


A comparison of U.S. nuclear diplomacy with Iran and the current version with North Korea puts the former in a good light and makes the latter look disappointing. Those with an interest in curbing the dangers of proliferating nuclear weapons should hope that the North Korea picture will improve with time. But whether it does or not, the process has put into perspective how badly mistaken was the Trump administration’s trashing of the Iran nuclear agreement.


Numerous high profile Trump administration officials maintain close ties with anti-Muslim conspiracy theorists. In today’s America, disparaging Islam is acceptable in ways that disparaging other religions is not. Given the continuing well-funded campaigns by the Islamophobes and continuing support from their enablers in the Trump administration, starting with the president himself, it seems unlikely that this trend will be reversed any time soon.


The Trump administration’s nuclear proliferation policy is now in meltdown, one which no threat of “steely resolve”—in Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s words—will easily contain. It is hemorrhaging in part because the administration has yet to forge a strategy that consistently and credibly signals a feasible bottom line that includes living with—rather than destroying—regimes it despises or fears. Political leaders on both sides of the aisle must call for a new model that has some reasonable hope of restraining America’s foes and bringing security to its Middle East allies.


Congressional midterm elections are just months away and another presidential election already looms. Who will be the political leader with the courage and presence of mind to declare: “Enough! Stop this madness!” Man or woman, straight or gay, black, brown, or white, that person will deserve the nation’s gratitude and the support of the electorate. Until that occurs, however, the American penchant for war will stretch on toward infinity.


To bolster the president’s arguments for cutting back immigration, the administration recently released a fear-mongering report about future terrorist threats. Among the potential threats: a Sudanese national who, in 2016, “pleaded guilty to attempting to provide material support to ISIS”; an Uzbek who “posted a threat on an Uzbek-language website to kill President Obama in an act of martyrdom on behalf of ISIS”; a Syrian who, in a plea agreement, “admitted that he knew a member of ISIS and that while in Syria he participated in a battle against the Syrian regime, including shooting at others, in coordination with Al Nusrah,” an al-Qaeda offshoot.


The recent appointment of purveyors of anti-Muslim rhetoric to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom exposes the cynical approach Republicans have taken in promoting religious freedom.


RightWeb
share