Moments ago, president Obama announced what was informally known for days but only today was officially disclose to the public: namely that he’s sending up to 300 American troops to Iraq in the wake of escalating chaos in that nation. Actually: correction, make that "military advisors." Please don't call them troops because otherwise the US public may realize that Obama has just become only the third president in as many decades to launch his own private Iraq war.
Specifically, Obama said that "American combat troops are not going to be fighting in Iraq again... We do not have the ability to simply solve this problem by sending in thousands of troops and committing the kind of blood and treasure that has already been expended."
He is right: this time the fighting will be done by "military advisors" soon to be far more numerous than merely "thousands", operating under the watchful, remote controlled eyes of America's drone army.
As Politico succinctly summarizes, "It’s a politically uncomfortable move for a president who won election in large part due to his opposition to the Iraq War and who has touted the withdrawal of U.S. combat forces from Iraq in 2011 as one of the key achievements of his presidency."
Naturally, coming from the president who has made the focus of his second term to rule via Executive Orders, this latest escalation would be just that - another unilateral action. Only this time Nancy Pelosi agreed to abdicate Congressional checks and balances on private presidential wars:
Obama added he would consult with Congress as he goes, but did not indicate he would return for another authorization vote.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Thursday that she and the other congressional leaders who met with Obama at the White House Wednesday told him that he does not need any additional authority to act if the action is being taken in the interests of national security, and that no one in the meeting raised an objection. According to Pelosi, Obama said his lawyers were studying that question, but that she hoped another vote wouldn’t be required.
That was just the beginning. Where things got bizarre, is when Obama said that "we are not looking to control their assets and their energy." The stupidity of this comment hardly deserve a comment: so why is Obama going in: as the pro bono mercenary army of an Iraqi president whom as we reported earlier Obama now wants replaced? Or maybe it is just to fight the ISIS rebels that the US has been secretly arming and training across the border in Syria.
But where things got outright surreal is when Obama announced that he’s sending John Kerry to Iraq consultations around a political solution. Kerry's mission? To help resolve 1400 years of infighting, sectarian hatred, violence and animosity and generally assure that, as Obama put it, the next leader will unite the sects and that Iraqi leaders must, wait for it, "rise above their differences."
Just because US Congress, where the left and the right hardly shoot at each other on sight, apparently has been so successful at rising above an ideological divide that has never been wider, it is now Iraq's turn to unite, overcome countless centuries of sectarian hatred, and come in a righteous circle singing Kumbaya. And if they refuse, US "military advisors" on the ground will help them.
That, in a nutshell, is the pretext for the latest US war in Iraq - Obama's own private foray into a conflict that he will no longer be able to blame on "Bush."