Sore Losers, Sore Winners . . . the End of "Mission Accomplished" . . .
Let's start with the fun and games from Tuesday night. It'll be sort of an amuse-bouche before we get to the lion's share of this post.
Tuesday was a primary election day in a gaggle of states, and eyes were fixed upon three races, one in Virginia, one in Mississippi and a third in South Carolina. In Mississippi and South Carolina, two Republican Senators were being challenged by rightist extremists who declared that Tad Cochran and Lindsey Graham weren't conservative or obstructionist enough to suit them. In Virginia, Representative Eric Cantor was squaring off against another rightist Randite, an economics professor who built his campaign on hating immigrants. Since Cantor had paid at least lip service to the idea of immigration reform, it made him anathema to the far-right coalition of nativists, racists and fearmongers.
So, the results were . . . ?
Cochran faces a runoff election against his 'Tea Party' rival, Graham easily crushed all six of his challengers, and Cantor . . .
Well, Cantor lost. It marks the first time since the job was created in 1899 that the House Majority Leader, the #2 man in the caucus hierarchy, lost his seat. He lost by 11 points, a massive 40+ point swing (which just goes to show how shitty his staff and pollster were, and how far out of touch he'd become with his constituency.
Confronted by this, the 'Establishment' GOP went into a huddle and decided to give the 'Tea Party' the finger by shutting out Rep. Jeb Hensarling in favor of some other shithead named McCarthy. We might actually see a halfhearted push by the GOP to get the Democratic candidate in Cantor's district elected.
Doing that would do two things. One, it would show the world that the GOP is willing to endanger their majority in the House in order to discipline the unruly anarchists that make up the 'Tea Party,' and two, it would start a civil war within the Party that would demolish the GOP and relegate it to minority status for decades.
Do it, you assholes. Do it. You don't have hair one on your balls if you don't show these nihilists who's boss. What are you, scared?
Way back in 2002, the war drums were pounding away along the Potomac, as the United States Government agitated for war against the Republic of Iraq. Saddam Hussein, it was said, was making naughty weapons of mass destruction, had tried to kill President George W. Bush's father, and had made common cause with al-Qaeda, going so far as to have a hand in the terrorist attacks on 9/11.
(HE SAID 9/11! DRINK!)
Now, the only accurate part of that second sentence was that Hussein had plotted to have George HW Bush murdered when he visited Kuwait after he was out of office. Nothing came of it.
As for the whole naughty weapons / al-Qaeda / etc. thing? Complete and total bullshit, offered with a shameless air of feigned sincerity by the likes of Manucher Ghorbanifar, "Curveball," and Fox News. Bullshit, I hasten to add, that was swallowed wholesale and without demur by President George W Bush's advisers and Bush himself.
When 2002 faded into 2003 and the prospect of war grew closer, I recall telling people that this would not end well, that there was no compelling evidence of the WMDs, and that Hussein and bin Laden loathed each other. I was vilified for this, called a liberal and a traitor and unpatriotic and un-American.
So we went to war, a war founded on a fraud and directed at two aims - to unseat Hussein and to get unfettered access to all that lovely oil that Iraq's sitting on.
We got rid of Saddam Hussein, and as I've taken pains to point out, the new Shiite regime in Iraq is falling into the orbit of the Shiite Islamic Republic of Iran. That makes Iran the winner, folks. Not us.
The United States broke Iraq, patched it back together with duct tape, baling wire and spit, tossed it back to the Iraqis and said, "Try not to drop it again, okay?"
So the al-Maliki regime has tried to maintain an increasingly slippery grasp on events in Iraq, even as sectarian violence grew.
Meanwhile, not very far away . . .
The civil war in Syria has allowed an extremist group to arise, a Sunni Islamic faction so extreme that al-Qaeda shook their heads and said, "By Allah, these assholes are seriously fucked up." ISIS (the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) makes Boko Haram in Nigeria look like a bunch of little girls.
And ISIS has struck against Iraq, taking Mosul, Tikrit and parts of Nineveh and Anbar Provinces.
The Iraqi Army and security forces that you and I and everyone else in the USA paid to equip and train, without being recompensed by that oil money that Wolfowitz and the others claimed would pay off the whole cost of the war? Well, according to reports, 800 ISIS fighters entered Mosul, and 5,000 Iraqi troops bailed the fuck out. There were indications that the soldiers threw away their uniforms, their gear, and even shed their uniforms on the way out of town.
I was flabbergasted to see a retired General on NBC opine that he'd never seen an army break and run so fast. Where were you when the Army of the Republic of Vietnam melted away in 1975, General?
The regional militias, suppressed by the al-Maliki regime, have resurfaced, and the Kurdish peshmerga have seized Kirkuk. The northern oilfields and the country's largest refinery are up for grabs.
The screeching magpies of Fox News, Talk Radio, and the Usual Suspects in the GOP have started yelling that Obama has "lost" Iraq. Got news for you, McCain, Graham, Wolfowitz, Bush, Cheney, Kristol, and all the rest of you - YOU were the ones who lost Iraq. We never should have been there in the first place; Hussein would die eventually anyway, and his sons were such a pair of unprincipled thugs that the generals could be reliably counted upon to kill them as soon as the old man drew his last breath.
The one thing that everyone's agreeing on so far is that we won't send ground troops back in. Air strikes and drones are what are being asked for by al-Maliki. I doubt it'll do much good.
Reports have surfaced that Iranian troops have been allowed across the border to help fight ISIS. They'd likely be welcomed by the Shiite majority.
Either way, our grand experiment in Iraq lies in tatters.
And amid the ruins of their grand design from the 90s, the neoconservatives, warmongers and cheerleaders from the Iraq War will wander about saying, like Derpy -
"I just don't know what went wrong."