Although the enemy of an enemy is not necessarily a friend, it should seemingly go without saying that if a foreign country has dedicated its resources to the defeat of an avowed enemy of one’s own country it would be welcomed and even encouraged.

For example, if the avowed enemy of the US government is ISIS, which has emerged as its chief declared antagonist following the US defeat of Saddam Hussein in Iraq, would it not be welcomed that a country close to the action has decided to dedicate its resources to the defeat of that organization? If foreign troops are to do the fighting and dying would that not be preferable to one’s own countrymen doing the same if one is a patriot?

Not if that country happens to be Iran and not if that “patriot” happens to be US Senator John McCain. Today the Senator and leader of the hyper-interventionist faction of the neoconservatives Tweeted his displeasure that the Iranians were engaged in fighting Washington’s declared enemies. 

It is “deeply troubling” to McCain that American troops are not once again fighting and dying in Iraq. Having backed the last US attack on Iraq — the one that produced the al-Qaeda and ISIS infestation of the country in the first place — McCain demonstrates that he has learned nothing from his failures. The solution to the ever-increasing disasters produced by McCain’s interventionism is…more intervention!

But McCain is not alone. USA Today reports that the US foreign policy establishment (i.e. the neocons and interventionists who run the show) are increasingly concerned by the role Iran is playing in fighting ISIS’s march through Iraq. The Sunnis around Tikrit, where Iran has recently been focused in its fight against ISIS, have been seen as sympathetic to the Islamic State after suffering the discrimination of the US-backed Shi’ite-led government in post-Saddam Iraq. Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, himself a Shia, has appealed to the Sunnis to reject ISIS and “lay down arms and join their people and security forces in order to liberate their cities.”

What should the US do now in Iraq and Syria? Go home, of course. There is no way continuing down the path of intervention can solve the mess created by intervention in the first place. Of course that is the last thing the McCains of Washington want to have happen. To admit one’s mistakes and change course is “troubling” to them.


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