Should the U.S. intervene in Iraq?

ISISmassacreThis week’s Watcher’s Council forum asks if the U.S. should intervene in Iraq. For some reason, my opinion on the subject didn’t appear in the forum, so here it is:

I’m of many, many minds on this. Assuming that we want to end the bloodshed there, I would intervene only if we had a different (by which I really mean “better”) president. Things will not get better for America or for the Iraqis if we go in with an Obama led fighting force.

Obama doesn’t think in terms of victory or of the safety and well-being of American troops. He thinks in terms of political gamesmanship and the ugliness that is American military might. If he ordered a new invasion, he’d piddle a few bombs here, order a few drones there, and watch a few hundred troops die somewhere else (then convening a panel to prove that the troops provoked their own demise). Then he’d declare we’d achieved some bean-counter’s goal and pull out.

Of course, if we had a better president, we wouldn’t be in this predicament in the first place. American wouldn’t be a paper tiger (or a paper clown). She’d be a world presence whose word meant something, and whose gravitas would keep at least some evil at bay.

And by better president, I do not mean another Dubya iteration. Dubya too never really understand that we’re fighting an enemy so evil it’s almost impossible to comprehend. Dubya thought in terms of a global calculus — bring democracy and we’ll have peace. It didn’t seem to occur to him that Islam and democracy do not coexist in the same temporal and spatial universe.

But really, should we intervene? Iran is now threatening to get involved, which takes me back to the glorious 1980s when Iran and Iraq were so busy killing each other, they had little time to kill anybody else.

Right now, Syria is an appalling blood bath. There are no good guys. Two armies of unspeakable evil are facing off against each other. The only innocents, and the only ones for whom I mourn, are the children and those helpless women — not the “black widows” or “martyred mamas” — who have been sucked into this morass through the sheer bad luck of being part of these toxic cultures.

The more the bad guys kill each other in Syria, the better for us. The same might hold true for Iraq. If it becomes another Shia/Sunni fight to the death, the only thing that I’ll mourn in addition to those poor women and children are the American troops who died, or who were wounded other otherwise suffered in a long war that might have been victorious if one president hadn’t done the “gentlemanly” thing and thrown it away to another president who did nothing at all.

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  • Ymarsakar

    Bush II’s policy was Regime change. It was not a democracy. Unless you think Regime Change in Libya has created a democracy. That’s not what Regime changes are for.

  • Ymarsakar

    “The more the bad guys kill each other in Syria, the better for us. The same might hold true for Iraq. ”
    The more bad guys were killed in Libya, the more weapons sold to AQ, which the Taliban used in Afghanistan to kill Americans.
    It won’t work the way you think it will. The world is not that simple. And even if Hussein was given victory, he would have ensured Bush II’s legacy was destroyed, no matter what.
    We have crossed the 10% deployment of the Left’s true power, their total strategic assets available in the US. Just 10% have caused what you have seen. What will the rest of the 90% do in the future?

  • Ymarsakar

    Do people realize what the population replacement is for the ME?
    It’s not American or First World scale.
    How do the Palis not die out, with their suicide bombing tactics? Are Sunni and Shia killing each other going to depopulate their pool of fighters and suicide bombers?
    No. Why? Look at the pop regrowth, key element in all sims.

  • Danny Lemieux

    I agree…absolutely! 


    During the Iran-Iraq war, Henry Kissinger observed at the time “It’s a pity they can’t both lose.”

  • Caped Crusader

    I may be old as the hills, but so far the Lord has blessed me with a very good memory. Why is all this happening? Let me take you back to yesteryear and the first Gulf War. That two faced, weasel, chicken livered, affirmative action, traitorous four star general by the name of Colin Powell insisted we stop the first war at 100 hours because “it looked back on TV”, that we were beating the living hell out of the Iraq forces. If we had finished THAT war and imposed a rational government on them and stayed as an occupation force to oversee stability and a transition til they showed they could govern themselves in a sane world, as we did in Germany, Japan, and Korea, none of the sequential wars would have been necessary. No second war, and none of the problems now existing. You can lay ALL the later loss of treasure and lives right at the feet of Powell. I never liked or trusted this excuse for a general and time has proven me right!

    • Bookworm

      You’re preaching to the choir here, Caped Crusader.  I heartily dislike Powell, primarily for that reason, but also because he is a back-stabbing, feral, political nincompoop.  The deference given that man has always been beyond my understanding.  

      • Caped Crusader

        AMEN, Sister!!!

      • Ymarsakar

        Did you as yet not realize he is black?

        • Caped Crusader

          Ymarsakar, that is where the affirmative action comment comes in. “Bless my little heart, I needs ‘dat special treatment and extra points on my grades to catch up with all these other folks, who are a different hue or color from me. These white, yellow, brown, and ‘redskins’ is gettin’ ahead of po’ ole me. And it ain’t my fault. And we’se got to have it forever”

  • Danny Lemieux

    To add to your point, Caped Crusader, the Republican Guard that Colin Powell saved went on to slaughter an estimated 100,000 Shia opponents of Saddam Hussein upon their return to Iraq. It was that very incident that you mentioned that caused me to lose faith in Colin Powell and write him off my list of prospective presidential candidates. He proved that he was incapable of making hard moral judgments. 

  • Mike Devx

    If we didn’t have compelling nationa security interests to intervene in Syria, then we don’t have them in Iraq either.

    I personally had tepid support for George W Bush’s democratization effort in the ME. (Ymar, I agree it wasn’t real democratization, but it wasn’t just regime change, either. There was a real effort to move power further from tyrannical dictators, closer to the people… for better or for worse.) I did not really think it would work, but gave Bush the benefit of the doubt, when I shouldn’t have. I no longer – with hindsight – support it.

    I don’t want to see another American life lost in that cesspool called the Middle East, unless it is for an overwhelmingly pro-American purpose. Nor do I want to see another dollar spent. Not in Syria, not in Iraq, not in Saudi Arabia, not in Afghanistan, not in Pakistan. And of course, not in Iran.

    There *might* be humanitarian concerns serious enough to intervene in both the cases of Syria and Iraq. Mine are not the usual humanitarian concerns, however. I fear that if left to rot in the direction they are going, they will emerge as strongly anti-American forces capable of bringing horror to our shores, and we’ll have no choice in years ahead but to bomb the holy hell out of them, killing hundreds of thousands or even millions. An intervention now that kills thousands could save hundreds of thousands of lives.

    But my fears there are too unformed to justify intervention. If we end up having to kill millions, years from now, because of the nukes ISIS exploded on freighters in Miami and Los Angeles harbors in the year 2019, well, too bad for them. The price we would exact in vengeance and justice would be on a tremendous scale.