Well, gee, $1 trillion or so just doesn’t buy what it used to. Take Iraq, for example.
Or, should I say: Take Iraq, please, someone — and fix it. Fend off the nasty Islamic fighters of ISIS (shall we call Wonder Woman, perhaps?) and keep that miserable sinkhole for American lives and money from coming back to bite us — again.
Put another way: Do you understand now, George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, John Bolton and all you neocon nutjobs, why the invasion of Iraq in 2003 wasn’t a very good idea?
President Obama sure does. Because now he’s neck deep in another crisis in this place, a country he thought he had gotten us out of, as he promised to do. Here’s what he had to say Thursday about the situation there, as The Times’ Kathleen Hennessey reported:
“ ‘It’s going to need more help from us and it’s going to need more help from the international community,’ Obama told reporters in brief comments from the Oval Office. ‘That includes, in some cases military equipment, it includes intelligence assistance, it includes a whole host of issues.’
“Obama said his team was working ‘around the clock’ and considering ‘all the options.’
“ ‘I don’t rule out anything because we do have a stake in making sure that these jihadists are not getting a permanent foothold in either Iraq or Syria, for that matter,’ he said in response to a question about possible airstrikes.”
Now, as I’m sure Obama is well aware, but given that he’s considering “all the options” — uh, Mr. President, there aren’t any good options available. Airstrikes? Sounds like American lives at risk. More aid? Sounds expensive, and quite possibly futile. Do nothing? And let a bunch of people who hate the West hijack an entire country that we poured billions and billions of American dollars and thousands and thousands of American lives into?
Now, I do have one somewhat off-the-wall option: Send Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney over there and let them try to negotiate a solution. And tell them they can’t come home until they’re successful. After all, they’re the ones who created this mess in the first place.
And honestly, I don’t know how these things keep sneaking up on us. First Eric Cantor, now this. Is it the media’s fault? Are all the media outlets that used to cover this stuff now so busy posting cat videos and “What country would you be?” polls and the like that they don’t have time for real news?
Or, worse yet, are we doomed to a generational fight with people who love death more than they love life, and who despise our way of life? Will we be forced to play Islamic terrorist whack-a-mole across the Middle East? And if so, at what cost?
Here’s hoping that Obama really can pull a rabbit out of a hat and somehow persuade the Iraqis to, you know, actually stand up and fight for their country. And maybe, with a little push from us, this rebel group will prove more paper tiger than snarling beast.
But for now, I hate to say it but it kinda makes one nostalgic for the days of Saddam Hussein. Certainly he was a nasty dictator, but we have a pretty good record when it comes to dealing with nasty dictators.
Islamic insurgents, on the other hand .…
Follow Paul Whitefield on Twitter @PaulWhitefield1Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times