Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Iraq War- An end to what?

As our President spoke last night, one thing kept popping back into my head is why did we create this mess to begin with? I remember GW telling everyone who would listen that Saddam was an evil person and his regime is harboring terrorists and stock piling Weapons of Mass Destruction. I like the rest of the country was still caught up in the fear mongering that lingered after 9/11. I remember defending this action to a colleague of mine. I remember trying to convince him.

Then a couple years later, I learned that he was right. We essentially shifted the power of a ruthless dictator and gave it to different warring factions, thus creating a Civil War. Nothing ever is civil about war. We have tried to help this country get up on its feet and become self-sufficient. But nearly a decade later, their country’s leadership is non-existent. They are still fighting through a power struggle.

When I revisited this topic with my colleague a couple of years ago, we agreed that we have probably made things worse in this region. Creating a civil war that no one is going to win has really made matters worse for the stability of this region. As we are leaving, Iranians are trying to fill that power void. We’ve essentially 
handed them a defeated country; something they could not pull of decades ago.

Do not get me wrong, our country’s service men and women did not die in vain. We destroyed a tyrannical regime, but did we really need to attack? Think about this, if Saddam Hussein was still in power, would Iran be as rogue? Hussein would have never allowed Iran to flourish their nuclear program because he knew that they would be the main target.   

We haven’t learned anything from the Vietnam conflict. We cannot change minds and win hearts by force. It didn't work in Vietnam, it didn’t work in Iraq, and it isn’t working in Afghanistan.  We really need to combat this war on terror through other means instead of large scale attacks. Attack their bank accounts, do humanitarian efforts like we are doing in Pakistan (after this most recent flooding), work on propaganda through social media, or in certain circumstances, perform surgical strikes. It is a different world where large scale wars do not make a difference to the people we are fighting. It just provides more fire to their fuel against us. 

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