Bill Moyers’ guest this week on Moyers and Company was Andrew Bacevich, a graduate of West Point who has 23 years of military experience, including service in Vietnam, and who currently teaches History at Boston University. The topic was Iraq and what we should do, if anything.
Bacevich recently published an article in “Commonweal” magazine titled, “The Duplicity of the Ideologues” and he strongly disagrees with the position taken by Robert Kagan and Dick Cheney who have placed the blame for all that’s gone wrong in the middle east on President Obama.
Kagan a former foreign policy adviser to John McCain, Mitt Romney and Hillary Clinton, who wrote in 1992 that the war on terror could succeed only if Saddam Hussein was removed from power. In a recent article in the New Republic he lamented the demise of the U.S. as the muscle of the world, using its immense power to bring democracy to the world through the use of military might.
Bacevich offered his estimation of Kagans vision:
“Well, his notion of American history, particularly since 1945, is one that we might term an extended liberation narrative where the United States devoted itself, in the wake of World War II, to promoting liberal values, democracy everywhere, fighting against evildoers, and he concludes that this success is being squandered by Barack Obama and those who are unwilling to continue this crusade.”
He goes on to point out that Kagan’s vision of the world and the role of the U.S. in the world works only by the omission of several facts, such as the many blunders we have made as a nation, blunders like overthrowing the Mossadegh in Iran in 1953 and let’s not forget one of the biggest blunders prior to the invasion of Iraq, Vietnam. All mention of anything that does not fit his narrative was studiously avoided.
Next Bacevich turned his attention to the op-ed written for the Wall Street Journal by Dick and Liz Cheney in which they asserted “Rarely has a U.S. president been so wrong about so much at the expense of so many. Too many times to count, Mr. Obama has told us he is ‘ending’ the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan—as though wishing made it so.”
“Rarely has a major American newspaper published an op-ed that was so thoroughly shameless,” Bacevich said before going on to point out that the situation in Iraq would not exist at all had the invasion which he fully supported never taken place. He notes that we actually created this mess and destabilized the entire region and that President Obama did not have a hand in creating it, he inherited it from the previous administration.
Moyers shows another victim of Cheney’s selective memory recalling his stance on invading Iraq back in 1994 when he told Bruce Collins on C-SPAN:
“Once you got to Iraq and took it over, and took down Saddam Hussein’s government, then what are you going to put in its place? That’s a very volatile part of the world, and if you take down the central government in Iraq, you can easily end up seeing pieces of Iraq fly off.”
Bacevich says that what passes for foreign policy today is really nothing more than unapologetic partisanship and will lead us nowhere except for deeper into the quagmire.
Watch the entire conversation below.
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More from AATTP on the Iraq war:
- Watch Fox News Megyn Kelly Grill Iraq War Neocons John Bolton and Andrew McCarthy
- Watch Erin Burnett Grill War Criminal Paul Bremer on His Iraq Failures (Video)
- Glenn Beck Admits Liberals Were RIGHT: ‘We Should Have Never Gone into Iraq’
- Treasonous War Criminals Paul Wolfowitz and Scooter Libby to Teach an Iraq War Decision-Making Class
- Epic Jon Stewart ‘Who Cares About Iraq Opinions of People Who Got the ‘F*cking Thing’ Wrong?!’ (Video)