August 9, 2014 – The president has forewarned us that we must plan to be in Iraq for a long time. I guess our 24-year involvement hasn’t been enough time to bring unity and democracy to Iraq.
How many more years and how many more lives lost must we endure attempting to justify such a miserable failure in policy? I guess we’re supposed to be pleased because it’s certainly been a bipartisan effort. One of the sickest argument made for continuing our effort and even expanding it is to make sure the men and women who lost their lives did not do so in vain.
How will more losses justify what has already been lost?
The 24-year effort to remake the Middle East and, in particular, Iraq and Afghanistan, was doomed to fail from the start. Many informed Americans from the very beginning in 1990 argued the case for staying out of this effort. They were ignored by both Republican and Democratic leaders. The president suggested the problem is that the Iraqis are not united. They were once, under Saddam Hussein. Getting rid of him solved nothing since the right of self determination was denied.
Permitting the natural desire for smaller and separate government entities could have gone a long way in preventing the chaos which set the stage for the Islamic State invasion armed with American weapons coming from our ridiculous policy of arming the rebels in Syria.
We’re now hearing about the humanitarian concerns for the refugees in in northern Iraq. The real motivation may well be the danger to our military advisors trapped in Erbil—some boots on the ground that never left.
More people should listen to Ronald Reagan as he reflected in his memoirs on the tragic loss of 241 marines in a suicide attack in Beirut in 1983.
“Perhaps we didn’t appreciate fully enough the depth of the hatred and the complexity of the problems that made the Middle East such a jungle. The irrationality of Middle Eastern politics forced us to rethink our policy there. If there would be some rethinking of policy before our men die, we would be a lot better off. If that policy had been changed to a neutral position and neutrality, those 241 Marines would be alive today.”
What are your thoughts on this quote and how it applies to American foreign policy today?