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Iraqi crisis should force US government to review its foreign policy

11:07 | 06.06.2013 | Analytic

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6 June 2013. PenzaNews. United States authorities should learn the appropriate lessons from the Iraq crisis and review principles of their foreign policy, including invasion of other countries. This is the opinion expressed by Ron Paul, member of the US House of Representatives from Texas, in his article “Iraq Collapse Shows Bankruptcy of Interventionism” published in foreign media.

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“As we read each day of new horrors in Iraq, it becomes more obvious that the US invasion delivered none of the promised peace or stability that proponents of the attack promised,” the article says.

Moreover, according to the author, May 2013 was Iraq’s deadliest month in nearly five years, with more than 1 thousand dead – both civilians and security personnel – in a rash of bombings, shootings and other violence.

“Millions live in constant fear, refugees do not return home, and the economy is destroyed. The Christian community, some 1.2 million persons before 2003, has been nearly wiped off the Iraqi map. Other minorities have likewise disappeared,” the politician notes.

In his opinion, what is making matters worse is that US support for the Syrian rebels next door has drawn the Shi’ite-led Iraqi government into the spreading regional unrest and breathed new life into extremist elements.

“The invasion of Iraq opened the door to Al-Qaeda in Iraq, which did not exist beforehand, while simultaneously strengthening the hand of Iran in the region,” Ron Paul emphasizes.

According to him, Ryan Crocker, who was US Ambassador to Iraq from 2007–2009, still speaks of the Iraqi “surge” as a great reconciliation between Sunni and Shi’ite in Iraq.

“He wrote recently that “though the United States has withdrawn its troops from Iraq, it retains significant leverage there. Iraqi forces were equipped and trained by Americans, and the country’s leaders need and expect our help.” He seems alarmingly out of touch with reality,” the author believes.

From his point of view, it is clear now that the “surge” and the “Iraqi Awakening” were just myths promoted by those desperate to put a positive spin on the US invasion, which the late General William Odom once called, “the greatest strategic disaster in American history.”

“Aircraft were loaded with 100-dollar bills to pay each side to temporarily stop killing US troops and each other, but the payoff provided a mere temporary break,” Ron Paul notes, stressing that in his opinion the measure of success of a particular policy should be sustained positive results.

“Now we see radical fighters who once shot at US troops in Iraq have spilled into Syria, where they ironically find their cause supported by the US government! Some of these fighters are even greeted by visiting US senators,” the politician says, alluding to the visit of former Republican presidential candidate John McCain to Syria and his meeting with opposition leaders who fight with President Bashar Assad.

From his point of view, the US intervention in Iraq has created ever more problems; however, the foreign policy “experts” who urged the US attack on Iraq now claim that the disaster they created can only be solved with more interventionism.

“Imagine a medical doctor noting that a particular medication is killing his patient, but to combat the side effect he orders an increase in dosage of the same medicine. Like this doctor, the US foreign policy establishment is guilty of malpractice,” the politician thinks.

According to him, US interventions – from Iraq to Libya to Mali to Syria to Afghanistan – have an unbroken record of making matters far worse.

“We must learn the appropriate lessons from the disaster of Iraq. We cannot continue to invade countries, install puppet governments, build new nations, create centrally-planned economies, engage in social engineering, and force democracy at the barrel of a gun. The rest of the world is tired of US interventionism and the US taxpayer is tired of footing the bill for US interventionism. It is up to all of us to make it very clear to the foreign policy establishment and the powers that be that we have had enough and will no longer tolerate empire-building. We should be more confident in ourselves and stop acting like an insecure bully,” Ron Paul concludes.

The US intervention in Iraq began on 20 March 2003 as part of the invasion of coalition forces to overthrow the regime of Saddam Hussein.

The official reason for the outbreak of hostilities was Iraqi links to international terrorism, in particular, the movement of Al-Qaeda; as well as finding and destroying weapons of mass destruction. In addition, according to some observers, one of the goals of the United States was to gain control of Iraqi oil.

According to US experts, the total cost of the US intervention amounted to about 812 billion dollars, whereas, according to preliminary calculations, estimated costs were about 50 billion dollars.

According to various estimates, the number of Americans killed since the beginning of the operation ranged from 4.5 to 8 million citizens. From 32 to 100 thousand people were wounded.

There have been several attempts to estimate the Iraqi casualties. According to Iraq Body Count, as of December 2011, 162 thousand people were killed, 79% of who were civilians.

According to observers, Iraq has suffered significant losses as a result of the humanitarian consequences of the war: hunger, lack of access to health care and other indirect results of the US invasion. The long-term effects of the campaign can be much more severe.

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