“You break it you own it,” warned General Powell to President George W. Bush before the invasion of Iraq. Well, the previous administration, in its hubris of Shock and Awe, decided to break Iraq. The American public finally realized that they were either deceived at best or lied to at worst. Thus, we demanded that they bring our troops back home.
However, some of our elected leaders instead of accepting their mistakes, want us to get back to Iraq through military engagement. For years, lawmakers have been unwilling to admit their part in breaking Iraq. Instead, they continue to blame whatever political punching bag is popular that week. It is only reasonable to ask our elected leaders who voted for the Iraq war to take responsibility for over 20,000 American soldiers who were killed or wounded while stealing at least $2 trillion from our kids to pay for it.
We were told that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) and was an imminent threat to the United States. Moreover, we were led to believe that Saddam Hussain was linked to al Qaeda; all this to justify attacking Iraq. There was no imminent threat to the USA, and the White House ignored the intelligence report stating that Iraq did not have WMDs. Furthermore, President George W. Bush admitted that Saddam Hussain had nothing to do with 9/11.
The predictable consequences of those actions are:
- A broken Iraq that is heading towards a civil war,
- The emergence of Iran as a regional power and a power broker in Iraq, al Qaeda’s presence in Iraq that did not exist prior to 2003 and
- Now the birth of new faction called the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
ISIS did not exist when we went into Iraq, just like Al-Qaida which did not exist before our involvement in Afghanistan during the ’80s. Furthermore, the semi-autonomous region of Northern Iraq, also known as Kurdistan, may cause trouble for Turkey, potentially destabilizing it in decades to come. As anyone with knowledge of the history of Iraq, Shias and Sunnis would know, these outcomes were inevitable.
Some in Washington D.C., whom I call part of the Beltway Beast, see the current crisis as an opportunity to make profits. The Beltway Beast is defined as Washington D.C., including its surrounding counties and institutions such as the military-industrial complex. They are working hard to drag us back into a military conflict. This is despite warnings from all corners that it is a political problem.
Our elected leaders have been telling us for the last 13 years that al Qaeda has been decimated and their leaders are on the run. At the same time they are also telling us that al Qaeda is a major threat to us. To frighten the American public even more, they came up with another boogie man. That threat now is called ISIS, which some have elevated it to be more brutal than al Qaeda even though no one knows their size just like we never found out the size of al Qaeda. Since the American public does not have an appetite for sending any troops to Iraq, American soldiers are being sent there as so-called military advisors. Isn’t this how we got started in Vietnam?
It is worth remembering that the Middle East including Iraq was artificially created in the early 1900s by the British and French. Back in 2006, then Senator Joe Biden proposed that it is time for it to be divided into three regions. Iraq already has been partitioned into a de facto two countries; one to the north controlled by Kurds known as Kurdistan and the rest controlled by the Shia-led government of Prime Minister Maliki. Recent events in Iraq are a manifestation of what’s to come, which is a divided Iraq along ethnic lines of Shias, Sunnis and Kurds.
The only viable solution for Iraq is a partition into three countries. The history of the last 10 years suggest that all three factions, Sunnis, Shia, and Kurds do not trust each other nor do they seem to have a desire to live together as one country. We had no business going to Iraq in the first place anyway, but we did and broke it. Therefore, we have a responsibility to make the best of the worst situation which is to get all of its neighbors and Iraqi factions under the U.N. umbrella together to divide the country in a peaceful manner. After all we used U.N. resolution to justify invading Iraq. Absent that, a full civil war seems inevitable.
At the home front it is never too late to hold those elected leaders accountable who got us into this mess. Perhaps we should focus on our leaders who sent American kids to get killed without any real threat to the homeland, and ask them to either retire or be fired in this coming election.
Republished with the author’s permission.