San Francisco

Washington has embarked on a risky course in Iraq that may lead to a new US war.

In the face of the swift advance by a Sunni coalition headed by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), which captured a large swathe of northern and western Iraq, the Obama administration has sent 300 soldiers back into the country.

This force, referred to as “observers” or “advisers”, are there to shore up the US-installed Baghdad government in a situation of developing civil war.

Since the Obama administration arranged for the release of Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, the last US prisoner of war held by the Taliban in Afghanistan, there has been a firestorm of outrage from the right wings of both the Republican and Democratic parties.

Bergdahl has been pilloried as a traitor. His father has been denounced as a Muslim. Senators called for him to be court-martialed and thrown into the military stockade.

What is Bergdahl’s crime? While deployed in Afghanistan, he became disillusioned with the war and said so in emails to his family.

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