In 2002, President George W Bush used the Republican Party to push America into a pre-emptive war on Iraq, with claims that Saddam Hussein’s government was trying to develop weapons of mass destruction, and an implied claim that the Hussein regime had aided the 9/11 hijackers. Both claims have been proved false, but the war left America with trillions of dollars in debt, thousands of dead soldiers, tens of thousands of wounded, and moral responsibility for the deaths of many Iraqis and the destruction of Iraq’s infrastructure.
Americans repudiated the Republican Party in the 2006 elections for Congress and the 2008 election of President Barack Obama. Few Republicans have learned the lesson, and many Republicans continue to defend the policies of George W Bush. Ron Unz is a maverick Republican running for U.S. Senate in California’s open primary in June. Ron Unz has joined with Ron Paul in denouncing the Iraq War, and on his campaign site gives his view of the Iraq war disaster:
Despite being total failures, the same people responsible for the Iraq War still dominate the foreign policy of both the Democratic and Republican Parties. As a Republican U.S. Senator I would work to remove them from all national influence.
A decade ago my old friend Bill Odom, the three-star general who ran the National Security Agency for Ronald Reagan, publicly declared that the Iraq War was the “greatest strategic disaster in U.S. history”.
He was exactly correct then, and his judgment seems even more prescient today, as the rise of the Islamic State and other powerful extremist groups has led to an endless cycle of war and terrorism in the Middle East, now directly threatening European and American cities. Furthermore, prominent economists have estimated that the long-term cost of the war to our country may run as high as five trillion dollars.
Most of our recent foreign wars in the Middle East area, under both the Bush and the Obama Administrations, have been expensive and immoral foreign policy disasters. Republicans Ron Paul and Pat Buchanan were right about these issues, as were all the other experts, both liberal and conservative, who have been saying the same thing.
I don’t necessarily claim to have the solutions to the ongoing Middle Eastern crisis, but nothing useful can be accomplished until we admit that the Iraq War was a total disaster and absolutely not in our national interest. Today, the exact same individuals who promoted the war still absolutely dominate the foreign policy of the Republican Party and are also very influential within the Democratic Party. Until we completely repudiate them and their dreadful mistakes, we will not be able to move forward.