5 Reasons Why We Need to Stay the Hell Out of Iraq

mission-accomplishedWhile 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.


Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.

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  • Whitney

    Because I’m tired of burying my friends and family that are killed for people who don’t want them there.

  • Joani

    Sunni vs shia? We’ve got no dog in that fight.

    • strayaway

      How did I get through an Allen Clifton article and agree with everything he wrote? I must thank the coffee gods. I would only have added that some fools in Congress voted to allow Bush to decide to go to war. Anyway, good article. Joani is right. We should generally stay out of wars contesting 7th Century religious feuds.

      • gian keysTOOEASY flat mom

        im kinda inclined to ask those in congress who didn’t vote for the war ( at that time) for THEIR opinions as 2 what to do!

      • mre2000

        Well the “fools in Congress” didn’t know the Commander in Chief was fabricating intelligence to support the need for action. If presented with the same info today, they would vote yes every time.

  • Brenden Donaldson

    You are right. Our own country is going to hell. our economy is going to hell once again and Secessionists are all over the place.

  • Matthew Reece

    I agree almost 100%. The only problems are in the fifth point. First of all, “we” didn’t do any such thing. “Our” ancestors risked their lives for freedom, and “we” just happen to be their descendants. No effort on “our” part means no right to be proud of such acts. Also, to quote Hoppe, democracy has nothing to do with freedom. Democracy is a soft variant of communism, and rarely in the history of ideas has it been taken for anything else. Finally, 20-30 years of occupation would not be nearly enough. It would take centuries, along with making Iraq part of the United States and an intermingling of Americans with Iraqis, just like the Romans once did when they occupied a territory.

    • gian keysTOOEASY flat mom

      and shall we forget : killing saddam ( his removal) now has the hated IRAN back in the front pages,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, saddam was the biggest deterrent TO IRAN

  • Eg Kbbs

    I was strongly against entering Iraq in the first place and empathize with a lot of the story. However, China Shop Rule – once we broke it we took on an ethical responsibility to either fix it or support someone else in fixing it.

    However, I find it odd that now that Haliburton has made their 40 billion off Iraq, we are now free to protest getting into war there (in 2003, protesting or even speaking against the war was considered near treason).

    • Steve Parker

      I agree with you on both points (shouldn’t have been there, but we caused this current state) but what could we do to make it better? Who could fix it, and how would it be done?

  • Pipercat

    I only need one…

    • Charles Vincent

      Dumb dumb dumb dumb duuuummmmmbbbb…..

      • Pipercat

        That’s five…

      • Charles Vincent

        No no no it’s all under 1 hehe

  • justacopywriter

    Since shoal-grabbing China and annex-loving Russia seem to think of themselves as the “next” superpowers, why don’t they do some real good and get rid of ISIS? Maybe then those two Commie-nations will get a bit of respect.

  • Stephen Barlow

    Point #5 is the Whole Truth. What the Iraqi’s see is DEMOCRACY. A forced election with partisanism more intense and vile than the American Brand, and the end result being a Republican Style Government ofthe haves and have nots, run by yet another DICTATOR. The only thing “Tebuplican Democracy brought them was all out Civil War.

    At least under Saddam, riots in the streets between burned outbuildings didn’t happen! Mass murders were only against the minorities. Thanks to Bush and the RED world view… mass murder has become a universal entertainment of both the Rich and the Poor.