While in the back of my mind I always knew Iraq was eventually going to turn into a giant mess, it’s still a bit surreal that in 2014 we’re still having to deal with the problems over there caused by the incompetence of the Bush administration.
And while I think it’s clear that we’re going to end up doing something in Iraq to try to stop the violence, I thought I’d list five reasons why I think we should stay out of Iraq.
In no particular order:
1. We’ve had enough war: This country has been at war for over a decade, fighting two wars at once for most of it. Enough is enough. At what point do we draw the line? Because the truth is, no matter what we do, the Middle East is probably never going to be what we want it to be. Going into Iraq now will, probably at best, only delay the inevitable fall of Iraq into the hands of some form of radical Islamic control.
2. We have enough of our own problems: Some studies have said that the United States hasn’t been this politically divided since the Civil War. Our economy, while much better, is still struggling to get back to what it was before the 2008 crash and millions of Americans are still looking for work. Our national debt is way too high, our deficits still need to be reduced and we’ve already spent trillions we didn’t have in Iraq. Isn’t time we focus on nation building here?
3. We’re not the world’s police: We’ve been to Iraq. We “liberated” them from the rule of Saddam Hussein. We stayed for years after he was removed from power to help them deal with the violence and establish their own government. We left in 2011 because they wanted us gone. We can’t fix the problems in every country around the world. They wanted us out, we left. Isn’t it time for them to now stand (or possibly fall) on their own?
4. Because we really don’t know what the hell to do: Let’s be honest, we really don’t know what to do with Iraq. Indefinite occupation seems like the only possible “solution” to try to maintain peace, but that’s not something we nor the Iraqi government wants. That would also mean sending tens of thousands of American troops back to Iraq. Which is something Americans really don’t want. Our only “plan” is essentially more of the same things we did in Iraq for most of the last decade. And that’s not much of a plan.
5. In the end, it’s not going to matter: You can’t force people, who culturally aren’t prepared for democracy (at least not yet), to live in a democracy. Until the Iraqi people want to risk their lives for freedom and democracy (like we did in the late-1700’s) it’ll never work. You can’t force people to comply with a form of government that they didn’t choose. In fact, doing so is almost always disastrous. Even if we send troops back, and keep them there for say another 5 years, once we leave the same kind of insurgent occupation is almost certainly going to happen again. So, unless we’re talking about a 20-30 year occupation to establish some kind of support for democracy, sending troops back in for a “quick fix” will most likely just delay the inevitable.
Alright, well there you have it. Five reasons why I think we need to stay the hell out of Iraq. I’m not saying there aren’t reasons we should go, but these are the reasons why I think we need to sit this one out.
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