A wise man once said that you could fill volumes on what isn’t reported by the news media. Certainly in the age of the “fake news” that we now live in there’s an element of truth to that. It seems that if something doesn’t fit a particular narrative being pushed or an editorial staff’s political agenda, it usually receives short shrift or is even outright ignored.
A perfect example of that is the news media’s overwhelming under-reporting about what is happening in Iraq right now, and why Americans should care after our decade-long involvement in that Middle Eastern quagmire. And even more importantly why Iraq still matters, or should still matter to us after all these years.
A bit reminiscent of our departure from South Vietnam back in 1975, the United States under Barack Obama unceremoniously bailed out of Iraq after Obama took office, and did so as rapidly as it could be arranged. Obama was determined to quickly extricate us from Iraq no matter what the consequences might end up being.
And just as had happened in South Vietnam when countless numbers of South Vietnamese who had worked with and supported the United States were left behind to face an uncertain future from Communist North Vietnam, a similar thing happened in Iraq.
Many Iraqis who had braved certain death for themselves and their entire families if their work with the U.S. had been uncovered were also left behind when the American military withdrew. Many of those same Iraqis falling victim to the horrors and torture that followed under the so-called Islamic State. Just like those South Vietnamese who were executed, tortured, and tossed into ‘re-education camps’ by the communists, and who were quickly forgotten by their one-time allies⏤the United States.
But why should we really care what happens in Iraq anymore. We poured our blood and treasure into what many believe was a mistake and lost cause from the start. Or at the least an effort that was mismanaged from the very beginning and therefore doomed to failure.
And after things finally got somewhat on track with the ‘Surge’ strategy, the Obama administration came in and packed everything up and pulled us out, abandoning any progress that had been made. Leaving Iraq to its fate that included losing large swaths of its territory to ISIS, as well as leaving Iraq to the fall under the control of the radical, terrorist supporting Islamic Republic of Iran.
Since President Trump took office ISIS has been decimated and their so-called caliphate is no more. Certainly ISIS fighters are still in hiding waiting for any opportunity to commit acts of terror once again, but their titular head and inspiration Abu Bakr al Baghdadi is taking a dirt nap. Or to be more accurate, ”he swims with the fishes”, to use an old La Cosa Nostra description for someone who is no longer among the living.
There remains the problem of Iranian influence in Iraq. Since even before the departure of U.S. forces the Iranian Quds Force was operating freely inside Iraq and undermining the efforts of the U.S. military during our involvement, and since our departure trying to turn Iraq into an Iranian proxy in the Middle East region. And all while Iran goes full speed ahead on their efforts to develop nuclear weapons back home.
In recent weeks the Iraqi people have begun to rise up and demonstrate their desire for a truly free and sovereign Iraq. One that is no longer under the thumb of Iran, and an Iraq that places the will and the best interests of the Iraqi people first.
Among their demands are the need for a secular government, equality for women, the removal of all Iranian influence, and the removal of all politicians who took office after 2003. Certainly one would think some noble goals worthy of our backing.
And while no one is advocating the sending of large numbers of U.S. troops back into combat in Iraq, we should embrace the Iraqi uprising and provide encouragement and whatever other reasonable support we can muster. It’s definitely in our national interests to do so.
But you’d never know it since the news media either doesn’t care, or doesn’t want to provide President Trump with another foreign policy victory. So the Iraqi protesters fighting to cast off Iranian interference, and demand an end to government corruption might never be heard.
Since you can often fill volumes with what the news media doesn’t report.