Angelo Codevilla responds to David Goldman

Does it make sense to say that U.S. policy created ISIS? only if we indulge the fallacy of post hoc propter hoc. ( A Latin phrase for “after this, therefore, because of this.” The term refers to a logical fallacy that because two events occurred in succession, the former event caused the latter event.)

Of course, as Goldman points out, once Saddam’s overthrow had broken the Sunni monopoly of power, the Shia were sure to try for revenge, and the Sunni were bound to resist. In the normal course of such events, the Sunni would have received swift come uppance. But the U.S. government, at Saudi bidding, intervened on the Sunni side. Doing so ambiguously, hypocritically, and half heartedly under the banner of democracy, dreaming the impossible dream of a “united, democratic Iraq,” it prevented neither the Sunni’s subjection or a neat separation. Instead, it fed both sides of a drawn-out war.

The degree of stupidity involved is difficult to understand — not just for the Chinese but for the rest of the world as well.

So yes, now ISIS fights with M-1 tanks, In the North, the U.S. government limits the Kurds to hand-held weapons. In the South, it pushed the Shia government into Iran’s arms by stinting help to the Shia militias — the only ones who really want to fight the Sunni. All to keep alive the dream of “a united democratic Iraq.”

Therefore, let us not be so quick to accuse the Chinese, or anyone else of attributing ISIS to dark American conspiracies. Grasping the extent of the American ruling class’s solipsistic stupidity is a big challenge.

Categories: Angelo Codevilla, Chatham House Rules