Five thousand killed. Thousands more wounded. And for what? Our nation paid a high price to liberate and bring democracy to Iraq and now there’s total chaos. Anarchy. The Iraqi people were better off with a strong-armed dictator.
There’s a power struggle underway between the Sunnis and Shiites – sound familiar? – and a full-fledged civil war is on the horizon. Our leaders are unsure what to do about the situation, or how involved to get in the struggle. Should we use air strikes? Surely we won’t put boots on the ground although we’ve already sent troops to protect our embassy. Are we even sure who the enemy is? Seems to me we have no allies in that country ... no one who really wants us there.
So I suggest, as I think most polls indicate, that we do nothing.
Our Kiwanis Club had a speaker last week who served two tours in Iraq. On his second tour during an ambush his right leg was completely blown off and his left leg badly mangled. His vehicle was struck broadside by a roadside bomb. After many surgeries he can use his left leg but must walk with a prosthesis on the other. He has an unbelievable positive attitude about his circumstances and the hardships he’s endured. He has gone on to complete college and owns a business in Tallahassee. He travels the world speaking about his war experience. But he now questions the sacrifices made in Iraq.
Was it all for nothing?
He put that part of the world in perspective, something that is hard for us to comprehend. He said as much as the Shiites and Sunnis hate each other, and as much as they constantly fear insurgents breaking into their homes and cutting off their heads, they hate us more.
There are probably good people in Iraq. But religious fervor makes them unreasonable and unable to coexist to almost a point of barbarianism. Our presence gave them a common enemy. But it was inevitable once we left that they would literally be at each other’s throats again. The French, the Russians, and now the Americans have all tried to tame that part of the world, and failed.
Don’t spill another drop of American blood on Iraqi soil. We have lost more than we can ever justify. And, unfortunately, Afghanistan will be a carbon copy.
The so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) is instigating most of the bloodshed in Iraq – although the ISIL has no monopoly on the killing – and has indiscriminately murdered hundreds as they try to overtake the country. Trained Iraqi troops are laying down their weapons and leaving their posts. But as history keeps telling us, victory by any group is short-lived. The war in Iraq is a battle that will never end.