Home | About | Donate

Five Things That Won't Work in Iraq


Five Things That Won't Work in Iraq

Peter Van Buren

In one form or another, the U.S. has been at war with Iraq since 1990, including a sort-of invasion in 1991 and a full-scale one in 2003. During that quarter-century, Washington imposed several changes of government, spent trillions of dollars, and was involved in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people. None of those efforts were a success by any conceivable definition of the term Washington has been capable of offering.


$urely, the real war again$t Iraq tarted no later than when the U funded Iraq’$ agre$$ion again$t Iran.


Doomed to failure from day 1!!
.Iraqis are running away from recruiters, our money & weapons fall into enemy hands
Our trainers have been routinely shot in the back by the Iraqi soldiers they are training.
The government leadership of the USA is corrupt, lies to us about everything, steals & loot’s the US treasury for their corporate paymaster’s is arming & funding the enemy as well.
Our government has clearly demonstrated that it is incapable of effectively waging & winning a war due to their corruption.
War profiteers sit in the halls of congress & the whitehouse.


With the possible exception of Nick Turse, all of the Tom-Dispatch writers sound alike. They produce probably well-researched statistics on the costs of various wars and various “initiatives” used to rebrand the various war efforts, but none of them challenge the wars, themselves.

Mr. Van Buren tells us that McCain is still a proponent of the various “training programs” in Iraq, but no mention is made of how much perpetual campaign money McCain can count on from certain war profiteers and/or weapons manufacturers for currying this particular viewpoint.

There is something very clone-like about the “analyses” put forth lately by Mr. Engelhardt, Mr. Van Buren (in this instance), the odious Andrew Bacevich, and others.

They replay statistics and continue pushing the idea that America is consistent with what its military does; and that the military’s goal is to “win” wars.

I am fairly certain–given the way Mr. Van Buren placed the word “we” in quotes, that some of these writers read the C.D. comment threads. With that being said, why is there NEVER any mention of the obvious tautological argument that these wars are continued because they generate profits for the corporations that have major clout with U.S. “lawmakers” and principle powerbrokers.

Why is there still a war on drugs? It’s OBVIOUS that it’s done nothing to reduce numbers of persons using drugs. And it should be obvious that this “war” has created wealth for some very dangerous drug cartel and organized crime families. But this war is now part of an infrastructure that pays the salaries of cops, judges, parole officers, and countless lawyers.

Similarly, the various wars become institutionalized and kept in place. Then they are used to “justify” the hemorrhaging of phenomenal streams of money. All of it COULD go towards preparing the nation for climate change assaults and other major disruptions to the public’s security. That would be GENUINE “national security.” And imagine if all the trillions wasted on designing ever-new generations of weaponry instead funded engineers to come up with energy systems that don’t require ANY form of fossil fuels! Now, that’s National Security!

Until the mindset that makes war profitable is itself exposed and deconstructed, all this talk about how many troops, and whether or not “training” programs will succeed are inane bull-shit!

In fact, given the telling fact that so much ordnance and fancy war toys were left behind to fuel ISIS, it should be patently obvious that tomorrow’s enemies are being armed today… in order to ENSURE that war will continue so that those who profit from the blood and guts of others continue on their rampage.


“On the campaign trail recently, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, for instance, suggested that, were he president, he would consider a full-scale “re-invasion” of Iraq.”

There is an excellent cure for warrior wannabes who daringly consign others’ children to death and dismemberment: let them lead the troops themselves! Put these $2000-business suit pseudo-macho clowns on the real front lines and see if they still talk a good GAME for war.

What would Scott Walker not do for a buck? This guy would sell his own mother. He has ZERO principles apart from naked self-interest and to cure the nation of this type of odious politician, it would make sense to go back to the Founding Fathers’ protocols. Let he who would lead first get out on the battlefield.

What would probably happen is wars would not be so causally made. And then, if the world’s weapons so tragically disseminated could be collected (perhaps with fees paid for all of them turned in like so many abandoned landmines waiting to go off on some child’s foot), a chance for peace might at last break out!


Sort of a Columbo-the-detective tactic to mention something, as if it’s absurd, and in so-doing, hide the covert motive behind it. Take this comment:

“This pattern of supply, capture, and resupply would be comically absurd, had it not turned tragic when some of those Humvees were used by IS as rolling, armored suicide bombs and Washington had to rush AT-4 anti-tank missiles to the Iraqi army to destroy them.”

Why does Wal-mart sell product if not to restock its shelves?

I also took on the F.A.I.R. technique of counting the number of times the following words were used: Victory/winning/win: 7, Success: 2, Failed: 2, Accomplish: 2, Fight: 6, defeat:3.

Granted, it’s a long piece. Nonetheless, the embedding into a would-be war analysis of charged words that favor the team-sports cultural imperative (itself deeply infused into the mostly male American psyche) is a way of keeping “the game going.”

The emphasis on fighting/winning is so American (Mars-ruled) male and it is also the most effective way to keep discussions away from WHY this “game” is being played at all.

No mention of Ike’s warning, no mention of the kind of money directed into war and its weaponry when social programs ARE being cut… this smacks to me of State Department messaging. I’ve been feeling that for some time with TomDispatch’s articles.

Part of the problem could be that its editor has a ‘god complex’ which leads him to turn every writer’s narrative into a clone of his own image and likeness. Or else, the material must match certain criteria that NEVER really questions the wars, the false trigger used to catalyze them, or who benefits from them. Putting the word “we” into quotes is hardly enough to make me quiescent about what I’ve been observing.

Van Buren closes with this:

“By now, you’re undoubtedly shaking your head and asking, “How did this happen?” Historians will do the same.”

Interestingly enough, MILLIONS of people get it: that whomever serves in the Oval Office will remain beholden to the MIC and the Deep State.

You really should do some research outside of official channels, Mr. Van Buren. You just might learn something.

I am including this, which was viewed by close to 2 million persons, for your edification:


Well stated, WiseOwl!
Peter Van Buren’s historical review and commentary is a fine piece, and your one sentence is also a concise history and commentary.
Whenever a story on Iraq appears, it would do well to include your statement.


This is a clue that Mr. Walker is not serious about a candidacy for president.


Mr. Van Buren is parting from the premise that there is something we can do that will work in Iraq. :confounded: