The Iraq War is supposed to be “ended,” or so the administration claimed, but the heavily armed “terrorist army” ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham) is rampaging through Iraq and has taken control of a chemical weapons complex. The Telegraph reports:
The jihadist group bringing terror to Iraq overran a Saddam Hussein chemical weapons complex on Thursday, gaining access to disused stores of hundreds of tonnes of potentially deadly poisons including mustard gas and sarin.
Isis invaded the al-Muthanna mega-facility 60 miles north of Baghdad in a rapid takeover that the US government said was a matter of concern.
The facility was notorious in the 1980s and 1990s as the locus of Saddam’s industrial scale efforts to develop a chemical weapons development programme.
As reports have stated before, there were “wmds” in Iraq, but there has been dispute over how dangerous they were, and speculation that the most toxic and potent chemical weapons were smuggled to Syria. About that:
Isis has shown ambitions to seize and use chemical weapons in Syria leading experts to warn last night that the group could turn to improvised weapons to carry out a deadly attack in Iraq.
Even CNN reported that these chemical weapons were still “dangerous.” Wait, wasn't that the rationale for the Iraq invasion? Preventing terrorist groups like the Sunni extremists in ISIS from getting their hands on wmds? Even old chemical weapons containing mustard or sarin could be improvised for explosive devices.
The State Department's spokesperson Jen Psaki commented on the situation: “We remain concerned about the seizure of any military site by the ISIL. We do not believe that the complex contains CW materials of military value and it would be very difficult, if not impossible, to safely move the materials.”
President Obama inherited a relatively stabilized Iraq, and needed only broker agreements with the provisional Iraq government to secure national interests and utilize military assets to prevent or disrupt the further rise of terrorist movements. So by what standard is the Iraq War “over,” and how is the current situation a reflection of the administration's “success”?
Many Americans died to secure procedural democracy for millions of Iraqis. International politics is not an afterthought or a means to accomplishing domestic goals; it is deadly serious business, and should be treated as such. Unfortunately, it appears that the president is learning that lesson the hard way.