(Salon) -- The eight-years-long bloody disaster that was the Iraq War did nothing – absolutely nothing – to persuade its architects, promoters and defenders that military intervention in the region is perhaps not the best idea. With Iraq now falling to pieces as it struggles to contain the advance of the Islamic extremist group ISIS, the same public officials who made the spurious case for war in 2003 and the media outlets that aggressively backed it are once again agitating for armed conflict.
The Wall Street Journal editorial board was one of the Iraq War’s most fervent supporters. (“It will be the nasty weapons and the cheering Iraqis the coalition finds when it liberates the country,” they predicted in February 2003, wrongly.) Now they want the U.S. to go back to war, and they’ve even done the courtesy of drawing up their own battle plans.
Mr. Obama now faces the choice of intervening anew with U.S. military force or doing nothing. The second option means risking the fall of Baghdad or a full-scale Iranian intervention to save Mr. Maliki’s government, either of which would be terrible strategic defeats.
Advertisement - story continues below