Stephen Lendman

More About: Iraq

Obama's War on Iraq

Obama's War on Iraq

by Stephen Lendman

For the third time since January 1991, America is at war with Iraq. It's ongoing lawlessly.

No nation may attack another except in self-defense. None may do so without Security Council authorization. None exists. Obama is a war criminal multiple times over.

Bombing Iraq adds another crime to his rap sheet. Reasons given don't wash. US involvement has nothing to do with humanitarian intervention or responsibility to protect.

It has everything to do with protecting the interests of ExxonMobil and Chevron operations. It's about Washington wanting unchallenged regional control.

It's about making the world safe for war profiteers. It's to benefit their bottom line priorities.

It's about stoking fear deceptively. It's about suppressing truth and full disclosure.

It's about using ISIL (the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) aka ISIS (the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) as both enemy and ally in different conflict theaters.

It's about carving up whole continents for profits and dominance. It's about imperialism's dark side. It's about pillaging nations for profit.

It's about disenfranchising populations. It's about turning workers into serfs. It's about prioritizing capital's divine right. It's about profiteering as a be-all-and-end-all.

It has nothing to do with external or internal threats. It not about ?protecting religious minorities and preventing slaughter as New York Times editors claim.

On August 7, they lied saying "it became impossible for the United States and other civilized nations to ignore" a looming humanitarian disaster.

Air-dropping modest amounts of food and water is a ploy to enlist public support for naked US aggression against a country posing no threat to America.

"Mr. Obama made a wise policy call," claim Times editors. He "showed proper caution." He's "keeping his commitment not to reintroduce American ground troops."

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel deployed 130 more marines and special forces trained killers. On Tuesday, they arrived in Irbil.

They're "not a combat-boots-on-the-ground operation," claimed Hagel. He ludicrously said America's combat role is over at the same time US bombing continues and perhaps prepares to escalate.

More US ground forces may follow in what may become another US quagmire. Mission creep often follows initial forays.

Expect the worst ahead from Obama's latest aggression. Expect Iraq civilians to suffer most.

According to Hagel, the new deployment is temporary. DOD will "take a closer look (on the ground) and give a more in-depth assessment of where we can continue to help the Iraqis with what they're doing, and the threats that they are now dealing with."

Washington already has 250 so-called military advisors in Iraq as well as over 450 security forces and 100 military personnel at its Baghdad embassy.

Obama is playing the humanitarian card deceitfully. He's doing so to advance and protect America's imperial interests.

On August 7, he authorized lawless northern Iraq air strikes against its ISIL Syrian ally. Concern for Iraqi religious minorities is pretense.

It's fake. Obama doesn't give a damn about their welfare and never did.

At the same time, he fully supports Israel's genocidal slaughter of defenseless Palestinian civilians.

He was elected on promises to end America's involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq. Instead, he escalated conflict, maintained a permanent state of direct and proxy wars, and began bombing Iraq for spurious reasons.

Claiming it's a limited campaign is duplicitous on its face. According to Pentagon press secretary Read Admiral John Kirby, "the United States military will continue to take direct action against (ISIL) when they threaten our personnel and facilities."

Nothing suggests they do except in retaliation against US aggression. The current US campaign could last weeks, months or longer.

It could escalate into another major conflict with US ground troops directly involved. Air campaigns have only limited success.

ISIL forces are heavily armed with US weapons. They're a formidable force to confront. They're involved for the long haul. It'll take more than drone and F-16 attacks to defeat them.

It'll take more than days or weeks under any conditions. It'll take prolonged bloody fighting. It'll take cost many lives. It'll take turning areas of Iraq into rubble.

It may become another US-led NATO war. France agreed to provide Kurdish forces with weapons. Britain is conducting surveillance flights.

It's using combat planes able to supplement US attacks if ordered. Perhaps other NATO countries will get involved. Perhaps full-scale war will erupt throughout the country.

An open-ended campaign is planned. In recent weeks, ISIL captured 17 towns and villages. It controls the Tigris River-based Mosul Dam.

Kurdish forces are no match against their formidable power. The prospect of ISIL overrunning Irbil prompted Obama to authorize war.

A US command and control center is there. Foreign companies and residents are leaving.

When Syrian-based ISIL forces entered Iraq, its army abandoned long held positions, weapons, munitions and equipment.

Doing so let ISIL obtain armored vehicles, artillery, tanks and other heavy weapons. Open-ended war looks likely.

According to retired US Army Colonel Peter Mansoor, Obama's war requires an operating base. "You're talking about a 10,000 - 15,000 (force) to include maintenance and medevac and security."

"But that is the price you're going to pay if you want to roll back (ISIL). You can't just snap your fingers and make it go away."

Short campaigns have a way of becoming long ones. Iraqis have been at war since the 1980s. Most never knew a time of peace.

Washington bears full responsibility for turning the cradle of civilization into a dystopian nightmare. Obama continues the worst of Reagan, Bush I and II.

Millions of Iraqi deaths attest to America's barbarity. No end of conflict looms. Permanent war and human misery continue.

The same holds in Afghanistan, Libya, Syria and elsewhere thanks to America's rage for world dominance at the expense of millions of victims.

On August 13, deputy national security advisor Benjamin Rhodes said Washington will consider using US ground forces to help Iraqis rescue Yazidi refugees if Pentagon officials recommend doing so.

"We don't believe it's sustainable to just have, you know, permanent airdrops to this population on the mountain," he said.

"Some of them have been able to escape but, again, we want to get options in place to move them to a safer place."

"There needs to be a lasting solution that gets that population to a safe space where they can receive more permanent assistance."

He disingenuously distinguished between this type role and deploying US forces for combat.

Using them on the ground in any capacity puts them into potential direct conflict with ISIL. All US forces are combat ready.

Expect them to be used that way sooner or later if they operate in conflict areas. Expect another Obama promise made and broken.

He's a serial liar. He's a moral coward. He's a war criminal multiple times over. He disgraces the office he holds.

He's waging additional lawless aggression at a time the overwhelming number of Americans want peace. They want neglected homeland priorities addressed.

They want them no longer to go begging. They want what Obama won't deliver. He's a warrior, not a peacemaker.

He's beholden solely to wealth, power and privilege. He's mindless of long neglected people needs. Imperial aims and corporate interests alone matter.

At the same time, Washington arranged for Haider al-Abadi to replace Nuri al-Maliki as Iraq's prime minister.

Al-Maliki wasn't convenient stooge enough. It remains to be seen if al-Abadi better serves US interests.

It's unclear if al-Maliki gave up his quest to retain power. It's likely after Iran endorsed al-Abadi. A key Iraqi general backs Iraq's new president, Fuad Masum, and al-Abadi.

A new subservient Iraqi government is taking shape. It'll replace the al-Maliki one. Washington is orchestrating things.

It wants convenient stooges in power doing its bidding. It wants control over Iraq's government.

It's too early to know if its best laid plans turn out as intended. ISIL will have great influence of events ahead.

Another quagmire seems likely. The fullness of time will tell. In the meantime, ordinary Iraqis continue suffering most.

America bares full responsibility for one of history's great crimes. It's decades long and continuing. No end in sight looms.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

Visit his blog site at

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