This week the world is watching the disintegration of Iraq before our very eyes. The United States invasion of Iraq and it’s attempts to democratize a country were wrong to begin with and now barely 3 years after America ended it’s combat role, sectarian violence threatens to rend the country into 3 parts.
We now hear the pleadings of the neo-cons to bring back the military to try to save the day. A re-introduction of America’s armed forces will only prolong the agony, and require a permanent presence in order to maintain stability. The United States is responsible for de-stabilizing Iraq by invading Iraq to begin with. Our invasion was based upon lies and it was based upon the wrong-headed idea that replacing Hussein would make things better.
Whatever happened to the idea of self-determination? Iraq had built-in problems from its creation after World War I. We just don’t get it. When you have a country made up of Shia Muslims, Sunni Muslims and a large Kurdish population you already have a problem. The problem being you have two factions that don’t like each other at all.
The Shia, or Shiites make up around 60% of the population, with the Sunni making up around 35% of the population. The Iran backed Shia discriminate against the Sunni and Houston we have a problem.
Nation building just does not work in a society built on quicksand, with built-in religious differences in what is basically a tribal society. Iraq does not have a tradition of democracy.
The best that can be done is to attempt to coordinate a loose Federal system with 3 distinct parts, a Shia section, a Sunni section and a Kurdish section of the country. Each section should be quasi autonomous with local rule but with the national identity of being a country called Iraq.
There is no side worth choosing if we are asked to aid one side versus the other. Why should we aid the Iranian backed Maliki or the ISIS led insurgents allegedly representing the Sunni’s? ISIS wants a Islamic state. Foreign fighters are streaming in to assist ISIS. Abu Bakr leads ISIS, allegedly. He was even disowned by the head of Al-Qaeda’s chief Ayman al Zawahiri in early 2014.
Choosing sides in this dispute is like trying to pick a winner in the Spanish Civil War or in Syria. It is just unwise to choose any side to help. Folks this is a time when the United States can not solve a problem by using force.
We have seen the deaths of our young soldiers, and the brutal injuries of our men and women in uniform who bravely removed a tyrant and attempted to build a nation. No flowers or fruit was forth coming when we arrived on the scene. We were the invaders in a country far from home.
We can not save the day, there is nothing to save. You hear any of our own military leaders suggesting that we use military force. This is wise as there is no chance for victory. The Iraqi people have to decide for themselves what future they will have, that is what self-determination is all about.