Dear media, no one cares what John Bolton thinks about Iraq. We want to hear from experienced veterans with knowledge and insight, not arrogant bureaucrats or summer interns at the Council on Foreign Relations. So on the third edition of The Charm Offensive, I speak with Professor Andrew Fyfe, an Iraq War veteran, Bronze Star recipient and doctoral candidate. We discuss foreign policy, Iraq intervention, and the philosophical and moral questions surrounding the Iraq War from a veteran's perspective. Will the Iraqi three-state solution unfold? Will the Kurds hold the north? How do Fallujah veterans feel about the city falling to insurgents after so much bloodshed? Will ISIS succeed in taking over Iraq? What should the current Iraqi government do? What role does the U.S. have given our actions to topple Saddam Hussein, thus ushering in the last decade of instability? Is Obama any better than Bush? Does the Iraq war pass the Just War Theory litmus test? If not, how should anti-war activists treat veterans of the Iraq war when they believe their sacrifices are unworthy of respect? Prof. Fyfe responds.
00:21 MADISON: What exactly is going on in Iraq and why should Americans be concerned?
3:25 MADISON: ISIS has taken Fallujah. For those unfamiliar with the legacy of the Iraq War, the battles of Fallujah I and II were some of the bloodiest American battles fought since Vietnam. How do you think fellow veterans of the Fallujah conflicts feel about the these hard-won cities (like Fallujah and Ramadi) falling into extremist hands?
5:00 MADISON: If the Kurds hold the north and defend Kirkuk, an oil rich city, and Baghdad remains strong, assuming ISIS is then occupying the remainder of Iraq, do we have a three-state solution by proxy or an untenable time bomb?
7:28 MADISON: Many veterans feel that the Iraq war has become our generation’s Vietnam. The secrecy and futility, nation-building legacy don’t make that comparison entirely inaccurate. Do you agree that the war in Iraq is akin to the war in Vietnam and if so what does that say about Obama's decision to send Special Forces to protect our embassy as the country disintegrates into factional violence?
12:42 MADISON: There's a long-standing tradition in western culture of differentiating between just an unjust wars. Can you summarize Just War Theory for the Liberty.me audience and share your view on whether or not the Iraq War was just based on those guidelines?
17:39 MADISON: I often debate the legacy of the Iraq war with antiwar activists. Many have had very limited interactions with Iraq war veterans and combat veterans and often, they say me, those who sacrificed their lives souls and bodies for what is considered to be an unjust war should not be honored or respected. What would you say to those incapable from separating the soldier from the war?
You can read more of Professor Fyfe’s work at his website.