At The American Conservative, Pat Buchanan lays out the sad state of affairs for Americans in Iraq today, and wonders why, after such a failed outcome there, there are officials in the Trump administration so willing to pursue the same regime change strategy in Iran. He writes (abridged):
In 2003, George W. Bush took us to war to liberate Iraq from the despotism of Saddam Hussein and convert that nation into a beacon of freedom and prosperity in the Middle East.
Tuesday, Mike Pompeo flew clandestinely into Baghdad, met with the prime minister, and flew out in four hours. The visit was kept secret, to prevent an attack on the Americans or the secretary of state.
Query: How successful was Operation Iraqi Freedom, which cost 4,500 U.S. lives, 40,000 wounded, and $1 trillion, if, 15 years after our victory, our secretary of state must, for his own security, sneak into the Iraqi capital?
The topic of discussion between Pompeo and the prime minister: in the event of a U.S. war with Iran, Iraqis would ensure the protection of the 5,000 U.S. troops in country, from the scores of thousands of Iranian-trained and Iranian-armed Shiite militias.
That prospect, of war between the U.S. and Iran, had been raised by Pompeo and John Bolton on Sunday, when the USS Abraham Lincoln carrier task force and a squadron of bombers were ordered into the Middle East after we received reports that Iran was about to attack American forces.
The attack did not happen. But on Thursday, Tehran gave 60 days’ notice that if it does not get relief from severe U.S. sanctions, it may walk out of the nuclear deal that it signed in 2015 and start enriching uranium again to a level closer to weapons grade.
The countdown to a June confrontation with Iran has thus begun.
Read more here.