The late, great Gen. William Odom, in October 2005: “The invasion of Iraq I believe will turn out to be the greatest strategic disaster in U.S. history.”
The good general, though, was just talking American — in a bigger sandbox, most-likely better phrased as, ‘the greatest total-horrifying-fuck-up in recent world history.’
One event, triggered after “…deliberately painting a picture to the American people that you know is not fully accurate” — shocked/awed/sparked the monster-nightmare called ISIS.
(Illustration found here).
Gen. Odom was one of the few voices crying in the reality-factor wilderness via the entire 2003 Iraqi invasion/nightmare origin, and cautioned-warned before hand who would be the really, really big reality winners if the US blunders ahead and invades — al Qaeda and Iran.
Retro high-five — Duh!
When I started this blog in April 2007, the overriding news on the vicious cycle was George Jr. — everybody was pretty-much then sick of the little shit, Katrina 18-months earlier had loosened the bowels of creditability — and the cartooning-catastrophic disaster of Iraq. The boy had introduced “the surge” in January — additional troops to Iraq, kick the bastards quiet — yet two months later, still nothing but an ethnic-cleansing calamity.
One of my favorites in researching/posting about the war, Odom was also a frequent guest on NPR and the TV talk shows. He was considered what’s been termed, an “intellectual warrior,” and in government, an example of how you don’t got to be a creepy-asshole to head the NSA.
He died in September 2008 — read a good, summarizing obit at Wired.
Extremely-tragic, though, is the entire Iraqi narrative as it plays right now is the fault of the US — George Jr., The Dick, and all their lackeys and goons. These clowns created the whirlwind sinkhole that’s put the ISIS on worldwide TV as the focal point of terror gone totally, horribly bat-shit crazy.
Not so, and no wait-for-it moment, cartooning one of George Jr.’s advisors, a guy named Ken Adelman, and his contribution to Iraqi-war-by-words: ‘I believe demolishing Hussein’s military power and liberating Iraq would be a cakewalk.‘
Reality, if there weren’t such a thing.
The rise of the monster ISIS comes via the entrails of a lot of people, places and things, but the US planted the rotted seed. There’s a good, detailed view of the multi-headed sources of ISIS via Vox, which this is key:
The most obvious way in which the US bears responsibility for ISIS’s rise is the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
The United States invaded Iraq, accidentally sparked a sectarian civil war, and generally created the conditions for what was then al-Qaeda in Iraq to flourish.
Without the American invasion, al-Qaeda in Iraq never would have been so strong, and ISIS never would have grown out of it.
While you may have heard that American inaction since its withdrawal from Iraq has been important in helping ISIS, that pales in comparison to the contribution of the invasion itself.
A residual American force in Iraq may have been able to help blunt ISIS’ Iraqi offensive in June 2014, and US bombing of ISIS targets in Syria might have weakened the group somewhat.
But the predominant causes of ISIS’s rise in the two countries — internal Iraqi politics and the Syrian civil war itself — couldn’t be solved through American military action.
This another illustration of the ‘We don’t torture’ genre of American history.
And the home-sourced misfortune came be found in a review of They Were Soldiers: How the Wounded Return from America’s Wars — The Untold Story by Ann Jones, which looks at wrecked US military people, and the horror of a terrible asshole of an event.
The advance of modern medicine has significantly reduced the American fatalities in the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, even as IEDs become more and more powerful.
While that seems like something to cheer, often the nature of troops’ injuries described by Jones shows that there are things far worse than death.
As a Navy surgeon told her, after two months at Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan, “Nothing in my experience prepared me for the catastrophic nature of these injuries.”
Case in point: his first surgical patient, a young soldier upended by an IED.
“To have to amputate that boy’s penis and watch it go into the surgical waste container — it was emotional.”
An ER nurse, also at Bagram, summarized her typical case: “Amputees up to the waist. No arms. No legs. No genitals. Age 21 or 22. We cry.”
Medical staff try to find silver linings in all this hurt.
A trauma-unit doctor tells Jones that the cutting-edge medical procedures developed during war eventually improve civilian medicine.
“Maybe so,” writes Jones, “but I wonder if this is to be the civilians’ reward for paying taxes into the war chest: the possibility of getting a combat-experienced brain surgeon when we’re shot in the head at the mall.”
Yet here we are and the nightmare continues. The UN is supposedly to investigate ISIS ‘war crimes’ in Iraq — how about starting with the occupant of a house in Texas.
Is the source, is it not?