Take it from me, an ISIS expert - this Tweet will not age well. #Syria
For a (mere) glimpse of what I mean, just skim @jenanmoussa's comments on reactions from Northern #Syria and the Kurdish situation:
I'd like to remind you of some brief presidential milestones in recent Middle East history, from Reagan to Trump. #Syria #Iraq
Under Ronald Reagan, the United States supported Iraq in the devastating war with Iran - to the point that many believe the US actively encouraged Saddam Hussein to invade Iran.
(FYI - in 1982, the US State Department removed Iraq from its list of nations with a history of state-sponsored terrorism.)
In 1982, Iran had invaded Iraq.

The US was terrified Iran could topple Saddam Hussein and/or get to oil fields in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.

By the middle of 1982, the United States abandoned any pretense of neutrality — openly backing Saddam Hussein and Iraq.
(Not so fun fact: the UN Security Council didn’t recognize Iraq as the aggressor in the invasion of Iran...not until well over a decade had passed — during Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait.)
July 1990: Iraqi troops amass on the Kuwaiti border.

US ambassador to Iraq (April Gillespie) under George Bush senior states “the US does not have an opinion” and tells Hussein the US has no intention of an economic war.

Hussein takes it as a green light and invades Kuwait.
George Bush senior issues Iraq an ultimatum, in an about-face.

The US gives Saddam Hussein a deadline to withdraw from Kuwait by January 15, 1991, or Iraq will face a war with the United States.
George Bush senior kicks off Operation Desert Shield on January 17, 1991 - the combat phase of the so-called “Gulf War (I).”

The war will last until February 28, 1991.
The Gulf War ceasefire went into effect April 11, 1991.

Meanwhile, CIA ran an indirect campaign (1992-1995) of bombings aimed at toppling Saddam. It failed.

October 1998: the US institutionalizes regime change as a policy goal with the “Iraq Liberation Act.”
George Bush senior encouraged the Kurds and Shia to rise up against Saddam Hussein, implying that the US would champion them in their fight for a new Iraq.

George Bush senior abandoned thousands to the slaughter.
George Bush senior hoped others would do the dirty work of deposing Saddam Hussein for him.

2003: George W. Bush sweeps in with bullshit “intelligence” (cooked up for false pretenses) and starts the real dirty work...the kind that gave us ISIS: in Iraq, Syria, and beyond.
George W. Bush invades Iraq on March 20, 2003.

May 1, 2003: Bush gives his infamous “Mission Accomplished” speech, declaring “major combat operations have ended. In the battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed.”

The insurgency was just beginning.
After George W. Bush declares “Mission Accomplished” in May 2003, the insurgency begins to get underway — by 2006, the insurgency’s raging violence gives way to full-scale sectarian civil war.

“Mission Accomplished” indeed.
In 2006, Zarqawi launches the Samarra bombing — and the resulting cycles of sectarian revenge violence ensues, precisely as he planned.

3 years after George W. Bush declared “Mission Accomplished,” the groundwork for ISIS’ eventual rise in Iraq is ready for takeoff.
Flashforward- now we’re on to the Obama years.

President Obama comes to power on a platform that promises drawing down troops in Iraq, and “ending” (read: renaming) the “Global War on Terror.”
December 15, 2011 - Obama formally ends the US Mission in Iraq, handing over responsibility for security to the Iraqi Armed Forces.

2012: attacks continue. Iraqi PM Nouri al-Maliki begins to resemble, for many Iraqis, a Shia version of Saddam Hussein: the old system, inverted.
2012-2013 - Sunni protests (along an Arab Spring model) begin peacefully, but face a fatal state crackdown.

April 23, 2013: the army raids a protest camp in Hawija, killing scores of civilians. By April 27, some 300+ die.

Hawija is the worst violence since US’ 2011 withdrawal.
Obama’s message to al-Maliki’s paranoid crackdowns and revenge violence? “Iraq must deal with its own security.”

Tacit message: another “green light.”

Hawija slaughter sets the stage for ISIS’ seeming legitimacy to previously peaceful Sunnis agitating for democratic change.
From Reagan to Bush senior to W. Bush to Obama — the lessons learned from multiple US fiascos in Iraq: “green lights,” then betrayal. Promises of protection, then abandonment. Double-speak of “human rights,” mere lip-service.

Bottom line: you can’t trust the US.

Enter ISIS.
You’re out of your goddamned mind if you don’t see the applicability of Iraq’s lessons for Syria — ESPECIALLY after the rise of ISIS.

Remember Obama’s “red line” warning to Bashar al-Asad?

More of the same, my friends. More of the same.
Ronald Reagan.
George H.W. Bush.
George W. Bush.
Barack Obama.
Donald Trump.

A brief “presidential” history of #Iraq and #Syria.

Bipartisan delusion - for decades.
My entire life.



/Fin
PS: if you think ISIS is “defeated” in Iraq (or Syria) — you’re delusional, and profoundly ignorant this group’s origin / operations. newyorker.com/magazine/2018/…

This is bipartisan geopolitical fuckery. Trump & Obama inherited messes from Reagan & the Bushes.

They’re all guilty.
That concludes my rant (for now) on US presidential asshattery on #ISIS, #Syria and #Iraq.

The previous Tweets trace only the most cursory of historical milestones — under each and every president in my lifetime.

Yikes.
I didn’t even get to Clinton’s 1998 Iraq bombing, devastating sanctions, and Sec. of State Madeleine Albright’s egregious comments on the death of half a million Iraqi children: “the price is worth it."

Bipartisan “Mission Accomplished.”

Like rain on your wedding day. #Ironic
To conclude my conclusion - Trump's announcement of #Syria troop withdrawal isn't what concerns me.

It's the asinine, premature, and -- yes -- DELUSIONAL declaration of "victory" over #ISIS that should trouble all of you.

Because: history.

Déja-Vu... again...and again.
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