GW’s Role in the Ascension of Iran & ISIS as Dominant Players in the Middle East
Timeline – 1979 to Today
1979-Carter Abandons Iran’s Shah and Allows Khomeini and Radical Islamist to Seize Power in Iran and Create the Islamic Republic of Iran
1980-Start of Iraq-Iran War-Lasts until 1988
1982-President Reagan (George H.W. Bush as VP) began Arming Iraq via Arms Sales through Israel and Jordan, (including chemicals to make chemical weapons) Western Europeans, the Soviets, along with Saudi Arabia. Syria backed Iran and cut off Iraqi use of a Strategic Pipeline.
1982-1988: Hussein Used Chemical Weapons Against Iran Multiple Times During the War. The International Community, Including the U.S., Did Nothing to Stop Saddam Hussein from Using Chemical Weapons.
1988-Iraqi Casualties: Estimated at 105,000–200,000 Killed, about 400,000 had been Wounded and some 70,000 Taken Prisoner.
1988-Iran Causalities: Estimated 200,000–220,000 killed, or up to 262,000 according to the Conservative Western Estimates. This Includes 123,220 Combatants, 60,711 MIA and 11,000-16,000 Civilians
1988-August 1990: Iraq Invades Kuwait over Oil Drilling and Debt Dispute; President George H.W. Bush’s Ambassador to Iraq, April Gillespie, told the Iraqi High Command, “Inspired by the friendship and not by confrontation, (The U.S.) does not have an opinion on the disagreement between Kuwait and Iraq, stating “we (U.S. Government) have NO Opinion on the Arab–Arab Conflicts”. Iraq took this as a Green Light to Invade Kuwait! Then…
1990-1991: George H.W. Bush Led the U.S. Against Iraq to Liberate Kuwait in Dessert Shield and Dessert Storm
2001-September 11: al-Qaeda Attacks World Trade Center
George W. Bush’s War Against Iraq
2001-October: U.S. Invades Afghanistan to Rid it of al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden
2001-November: G.W. Bush instructs Rumsfeld to have Tommy Franks Draw up a Battle Plan to Invade Iraq Within a Week? (Why then?)
2002-Latter Half: CIA reported that Iraq was Trying to Reconstitute their Nuclear Program to build Weapons of Mass Destruction
March 18, 2003-GW Bush Notified Congress That the U.S. was going to War Against Iraq; Bush Attacked 2 Days Later
May 1, 2003: G.W. Bush Issues his “Mission Accomplished” Speech
2007-Iraq Surge to Re-establish Stability in Iraq
December, 2008-G.W. Bush Signs a Weak Status of Forces Agreement with Iraq Including Complete Withdrawal of Troops by 12/31/2011, and the Agreement Would Expire on the Same Date.
12/31/2011-Obama Fails to Extend SOFA and Troops in Iraq
A power vacuum was created in Iraq by Bush and Obama that allowed for the rise of ISIS/ISIL and incursions into Iraq by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard to further destabilize Iraq and Syria and position Iran in a position of strength in Iran and its ally Syria.
Iran could not defeat Iraq in war in the 1980’s, but now that the U.S. had weakened Iraq, Iran was in a superior position to be able to exert its influence over it long time enemy, Iraq.
G.W. Bush/Obama Iraq Aftermath & the Rise of Iran
12/31/2011: All U.S. Troops Leave Iraq
April, 2013-“Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant” (ISIL) Created by al-Baghdadi
December 2015-ISIL Controls Vast Populations of Iraq and Syria
2015-Iran Nuclear Deal-Obama
G.W. Bush was so bogged down in Afghanistan and Iraq that he did not devote the time that stopping Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons really deserved. The Bush Administration spent half of its time in office dabbling with a European led group negotiating with Iran. (Sounds like leading from behind!) The end result was that no agreement was reached during Bush’s term and the ball was punted to Obama who was salivating at the prospect of giving nuclear capabilities to Iran and “fundamentally changing the balance of power in the region”.
G.W. Bush, while not intentionally, helped to create the power vacuum in Iraq that gave tacit approval to Iran to “come on in”. Part of the vacuum was filled with ISIS and part with the Revolutionary Guard from Iran. Now that Iran is assured of gaining a nuclear weapon, it is capable of becoming a dominant player in the Middle East. While much of this is on Obama, GW had a hand in the ultimate destabilization of Iraq by not negotiating a long lasting SOFA with Iraq.
The sad part is that Saddam Hussein was probably trying to get nuclear weapons all along but apparently had not reached his goal. Saddam’s biggest mistake (Iraq has denied any involvement) may have been trying to assassinate George H.W. Bush in 1993. Was this the real reason George W. Bush attacked Iran in 2003? Or was it that he truly thought that Iraq had nuclear capabilities? We obviously knew that Iraq had chemical weapons as we supplied the chemicals during the Iraqi-Iranian war in the 1980’s when George H.W. Bush was Vice President.
History will record the final chapter of President George W. Bush and his role in shaping the Middle East of 2016. The goal of this article is not to lay all of the blame of today’s Middle East issues on this President, but to merely point out that actions have consequences, many unintended and unanticipated.
Donald Trump today is maintaining that going to war against Iraq was a mistake and led to the current destabilization in the Middle East. It is certainly curious that both George H.W, Bush and George W. Bush both went to war against a former ally. They took out a SUNNI leader of a Shia country that totally confounded the rest of the SUNNI world. Today, other candidates are blaming Trump for making enemies out of our SUNNI allies with his tightening of Muslim immigration. Well boys and girls, if an immigration policy can make our allies upset, imagine what taking out one of their own would do! Further, GW is actually responsible for our total pullout from Iraq with his signing of a week SOFA agreement in December of 2008. I have no lost love for Obama but Bush is certainly partially to blame for the mess as stated by Donald Trump!
Obama could have done more but why should he? He believes hat Iraq should be led by its Shia Majority!!!
Sun Tsu maintained that if you only go to war for the purpose of maintaining or achieving your own self interests, then the outcome will always be to your benefit. When you go to war for some other reason, even if seemingly altruistic, then the outcome will be merely a depletion of your own treasure and blood.
You may feel better about yourself,
but your own self interests have not been advanced!