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Republicans Shouldn't Stoke International Revolution

September 25, 2014 in Economics

By Justin Logan

Justin Logan

Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham would like to help National Review readers keep score on who bears what share of responsibility for the rise of the Islamic State. It turns out it’s mostly Barack Obama’s fault.

McCain and Graham lay blame on the lawn of the White House for four reasons: Obama failed to keep tens of thousands of U.S. troops in Iraq indefinitely; he failed to do enough to arm and train “moderate” Syrian rebels against Bashar Assad; he failed to bomb Assad after the now-infamous chemical weapons attack/“red line” walkback; and he didn’t bomb the Islamic State (ISIS) in Iraq in late 2013.

The Batmobile whizzes past self-awareness when the Caped Crusader and Boy Wonder shout that conservatives “who believe that ISIS’s rise is somehow a result of too much action by President Obama and our nation are either misinformed about world events or wedded to naïve ideologies.” It is clear to everyone not in the grips of a different naïve ideology that the chaos and maelstrom of sectarian violence McCain and Graham helped set loose in Iraq contributed to the rise both of a sectarian Shia government and Sunni resistance movements, be they insurgencies or quasi-state groups like ISIS.

In a country situated like the 2014 United States, conservatives should act and think like conservatives, not international revolutionaries.”

Let’s Bomb Everyone All the Time

Their whole argument has an “assume a can opener” quality about it. Neither the American public, nor the Iraqi public, nor the Iraqi government wanted American troops to stay in Iraq. McCain and Graham attribute ousted Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s resistance to a fear that the number of troops proposed would not be enough, but this is far from clear. Selling an inflamed Iraqi public on the idea that American troops would be in their country but exempt from their laws was always going to be a tough sell.

Moreover, McCain and Graham attribute a magical power to the presence of U.S. troops: How, exactly, were they to have “played a key role in checking Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s worst sectarian tendencies and in supporting Iraqi security forces”? The same Iraqi security forces that abandoned their weapons and deserted the battlefield while facing ISIS? The same sectarian tendencies that sank Maliki, as well as his predecessor Ibrahim al-Jaafari? It’s almost as if something is causing those sectarian tendencies and <a target=_blank href="http://www.amazon.com/Arabs-War-Military-Effectiveness-1948-1991/dp/0803287836" …read more

Source: OP-EDS

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