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Middle East: "George W.Bush a war criminal?" How the Gulf and Iraq Wars resulted in the rise of Isis and the refugee stream into Europe

It has been an unbelievable 25 years ago since George H. W. Bush started the West on the adventure that still isn’t over in Iraq and Afghanistan or Syria for that matter. There are American soldiers fighting and dying in the Middle East right now who weren’t even born when Bush the Elder declared the Iraqi invasion and occupation of Kuwait to be an intolerable situation and sent roughly half a million Americans halfway around the world to reverse it.

Perhaps even more directly relevant to Sunni grievances and the rise of Isis, was the US-run prison system, which started with rampant abuses at Abu Ghraib and evolved into mass detention, albeit of both major sects. Sunni jihadis said the prison system was their most effective organising tool.

As the EU today  fights among itself which country is more humane than the other, with millions of refugees streaming across the borders into Europe no one dared to point their finger towards the US, or its former leader George W. Bush, as the ultimate culprit for  all the drama going on today in the Middle East.  

Twenty-five years down the road is not a bad moment to stop and ask, What the heck was that all about? And what did we accomplish for our pains, especially the sacrifices of individual American and  he "alliance of the willing " soldiers?

We now say “Thank you for your service” to anyone in a military uniform. This is a nice new civic custom that hasn’t, to many peoples surprise, turned into an interest-group free-for-all. What about policemen? And firemen? Or the immigrants who keep Southern California and many Northern European countries "shiny"?

Aren’t we grateful to them for their service? Sure, but the US has elevated its military to a higher and special pedestal.  I’ve never understood how one by honoring dead and wounded troops is able to perpetuate mistaken wars, in which their numbers can only increase.


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