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View Diary: When will we ever learn? Iraq, Updated (109 comments)

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  •  There are no answers now. (3+ / 0-)

    The Bush Iraq war's mix of empty "democracy" naivete and oil power politics has left the smoking hole in its wake everyone sane foresaw.

    Obama won't be blamed, but his policy has also failed. Pulling out of Iraq spared further American lives lost but also amounted to shrugging and abandoning Iraqis to their fate. Further, failure to stop Syria's brutal civil war strengthened ISIS and led directly to this offensive.

    Walking away some more will only foster more extreme violence.

    There is no one solution, but disengagement would be irresponsible and only accelerate the spiral into extremist chaos.

    •  Extreme chaos exists as we write... (6+ / 0-)

      why back a government that could not raise enough warm bodies today to act and apparently has its army deserting by the thousands.
      No easy answers, but killing more strangers will not help, imho.
      Again, let the people of the region work it out, we could facilitate a peace table with all involved and that's a lot of countries.

      "Lets show the rascals what Citizens United really means."

      by smiley7 on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 05:06:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Standing around watching civil war is unwise. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        smiley7

        People of the region "work it out" by slaughtering one another and causing millions-strong refugee crisis after crisis after crisis.

        The West twiddling its thumbs and whistling until the smoke clears only favors a descent into regional war so catastrophic it would make the current ISIS offensive look like a picnic in the park.

        Disengagement is not an option.

        There is no magic wand here. Blind support for al-Maliki helped create this bind, so perhaps now will turn into an opportunity for the West to help transition him out of power.

        We'll see. The human cost of doing nothing far outweighs the dangers of engagement, diplomatic/economic at the very least.

        •  yes, but have we accomplished anything useful (7+ / 0-)

          besides throwing 2 trillion dollars away, getting untold thousands of people killed and contributing both to regional instabiily on a mass scale and an increase in global terrorism?

          If you could honestly say that something has improved as a result of our engagement, that would be one thing.

          I tend to side with the folks who say that we should (cautiously) cast aside our difference with Iran, disengage from our obsession with the Saudis, and work on containment.

          •  The Bush Iraq War was idiotic from Day One. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            smiley7

            And I agree with you that its inanity had awful and lingering effects.

            We're left with the detritus we had a large hand in creating. The only ethical and humanitarian thing is for the US and the West to do what they can to alleviate the worst effects of the conflict and help foster stability and hope in the region.

            Doing so (even in a limited way) will mean navigating cascades of repeated horrible situations.  

            All I'm saying us that disengagement isn't an option. It failed as Syria policy. And it will fail again if applied to Iraq.

            For the end result could well be an extremist militant pan-ISIS state of Syria and the wealthiest chunk of Iraq.

            It won't happen. But it will take committed Western engagement to avoid that possibility...

            •  Why are we behind the eight ball on this? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              corvo

              And why did the Iraqi army desert if the reports on the ground are correct?
              Something's foul.

              "Lets show the rascals what Citizens United really means."

              by smiley7 on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 06:08:47 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  the U.S. is itself crumbling right now, in no (0+ / 0-)

              small part due to the nonsense we started over there.

              This may sound extremely callous, but perhaps it is in the best interest for all involved for the situation to actually explode, rather than the U.S. stepping in with a bandaid (which is really all we can do) and pretend to keep things in check while destroying our own socio-economic standing as a result.

              We're done there.  It's going to blow up and there is absolutely nothing we can do about it.  It's not just Iraq either--it's the entire region.  IT's not ours to contain--it's not even possible.

              •  Best interests of Syrians and Iraqis? (0+ / 0-)

                It's not to let them die or end up in extremist ISIS hell.

                While I don't believe the US will or should re-occupy, the West will react and the ISIS guys won't get all they want.

                Maybe there will be an opportunity here for the UN or EU to come to the fore. That could be positive. Militarily or no, the West is not done in the region nor will it be for the foreseeable future.

        •  The people of the region (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jrooth

          have legitimate grips, mostly about the west who fucked them after WWI.
          I agree we should use diplomatic resources; and ideally our NATO friends in the region should apply muscle to stop the carnage, but I do not support using airstrikes or shoulders on the ground to protect al Maliki's failed government.
          In a post below, I recalled Biden's plan to break up Iraq, I'm suggesting that it's past time.

          And it befuddles me that our intel didn't see this coming.

          Appreciate your thoughts on this, very much.

          "Lets show the rascals what Citizens United really means."

          by smiley7 on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 05:48:19 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  grrr sp soldiers. (0+ / 0-)

            "Lets show the rascals what Citizens United really means."

            by smiley7 on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 05:49:29 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Agree Maliki should go, don't trust Biden plan. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            smiley7

            It may well come to partition into ethnic states, perhaps very soon.

            But that too is a recipe for future problems. It would be tough for each on its own to provide security and stability (much less develop functional economies and infrastructure), and who'd be surprised to see them warring anew against the second they could?

            Whatever solution is attempted, bloody pitfalls lie ahead.

        •  Get back to me when the VA is fully funded (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          smiley7

          and has no backload and when the kids of the 1% volunteer.  Not too late for you to join the Guard, Chelsea and Lauren.  You too can serve multiple deployments in the war for the 1%.

    •  Half measures are worse than no measures. (5+ / 0-)

      Nothing can be done so nothing should be done.

      •  Isolationist indifference is not a virtue. /nt (0+ / 0-)
        •  Utterly disagree. (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          smiley7, greenbell, corvo, kurt

          America has not won a war, or attained anything approaching their objectives anyway, since WW2 (well, actually Russia won that one, but at least we were one of the allies).

          What have we accomplished with all of this violence and bloodshed? Absolutely nothing except encouraging more chaos. Oh, and impoverishing our country. Unless you argue that the population control was worth the cost.

          Diplomatic action? Certainly. Sanctions? Sure, if they hurt those promoting the wars more than the general population. But more violence? Spare us.

          Look at our history of failure and tell me why you could possibly think it would be beneficial to anyone except "defense" contractors.

          •  Not all armed interventions are imperialist. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            smiley7

            Yes, most post-WWII American interventions have been.

            And ultimately it would be better to live in a non-violent world. To get there, I'd be all for spreading military spending across all responsible nation-states and ceding all operational control to, say, the UN. But of course, that won't happen anytime soon.

            More violence in Iraq and Syria is already happening.

            The question is how best to stop it. Ignoring it won't stop it.

            The UN has had many successes stopping slaughters and negotiating settlements with troop deployment an integral part of the process. The sooner we get back to that model and away from the Bush madness, the better for all.

            While I too want to de-militarize America, the world's crises cannot all be resolved through non-violence.

        •  Oh yes it is!! (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          smiley7

          Isolationism is highly underrated.  We became a superpower by staying OUT of wars as long as possible.  Our decline began when we believed we had to fight them all.  Look how Canada has passed us up in most measures of quality of life.  We're no longer number 1 in anything but guns.  

          •  America's decline was inevitable. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            smiley7

            We have limited resources. Poorer countries were destined, eventually, to muster bigger pieces of the global pie.

            The West can't expect to pillage global resources and wealth for centuries and then simply wash its hands of all global ills.

            As an ethos, that's just not good enough.

            •  Whoa the neo-cons/libs have your head (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              smiley7

              War is about pillaging for resources and wealth.  Nations virtually never go to war for altruistic reasons. Nations are formed at best with a social contracts that begin with words like "We the People of the United States".  If we could just keep our eyes focused on those 7 words we would solve an amazing number of problems.  Sheesh, most people came to this country to avoid problems abroad not take on every single one of them.  

              •  Libertarian devotion to self doesn't work. (0+ / 0-)

                Over the centuries, rich countries pillaged poor countries and constructed citadels of their ill-acquired wealth and privilege.

                We can't just now loll behind the castle walls and eat bon-bons and yawn while the peasant rabble massacre one another.

                We have to care.

                •   I am old enough and self aware enough to know (0+ / 0-)

                  that caring is something you do for those close to you who you love.  Caring is what a spouse does for her husband who returns from Iraq with multiple amputations and a TBI.  That's caring.  

                  We can't even "care" enough to fund or reform our own VA.

                  Nation states are not in business to "care" for people external to their borders.  

                  And don't try that "privilege" word on me.  It's not in the Constitution and that's my contract.  If you want to amend it to serve some other purpose just go round up 200 million people that agree with you.  Until then, I figure it means what it says and it says, "We the People of the United States...."

                  •  We care for all or we care for none. (0+ / 0-)

                    For every tragedy of a wounded American, there were (no exaggeration) five, six, seven, ten tragedies of dead or wounded Iraqis.

                    Why don't those tragedies count?

                    They do. We don't have the luxury to deny historical and current evils because they take place outside our borders. We should instead do what we can to address them as best as we are able. How to do so is ever and always up for debate -- but those of good will cannot let that debate cease.

                    We do not get a "rich country gated community" privilege card to shut ourselves behind our fenced borders and ignore all non-American humanity. Nor is all human morality outlined and circumscribed by the rhetoric of the Constitution alone. What is legal is not necessarily moral. Far from a final word on morality, the Constitution instead provides only the pre-conditions for us to explore and develop doing good in the world.

                    We fail to live up to its clarion call to action if we insist its inner meaning is to rake in mad dough while abandoning all non-Americans to their suffering we deign not notice.

                    •  Some of us who opposed the war (0+ / 0-)

                      predicted those Iraqi casualties which is why it is brain dead stupid to think that the US, being utterly clueless in 2002, suddenly knows how to straighten things out now.  We did not understand the people and cultures then and we do not now.

                      You are a classic neo-con/neo-lib thinker.  The problem is you ASSUME a WISDOM we do not have and you ASSUME a MORALITY we do not have and you ASSUME RESOURCES you will not FUND.  

                      You want to spend other people's money and other people's lives on other people's problems and sit back and watch the entertainment.  

                      If you care for all, you care for none because you don't have the first clue how much commitment it takes to care for even one.  Caring for all is a utopian commitment beyond any possibility of fulfillment.  You want to discard what is legal, the hard fought rule of law, with some vague moral code and whoever is the number one neo-con du jour will be using the moral code du jour conveniently unattached to any rules or laws or boundaries of any nation state.  

                      God save us from utopians.

                      •  I opposed the Bush War and protested it. (0+ / 0-)

                        I knew hell would follow the invasion and that the whole neo-con gang was a den of fools and villains.

                        Then the war came.

                        And now we are called on to do what little we can for those it ravaged.

                        Caring for all is not utopian. It is the essence of humanitarian thought and the base for all moral action in the world. Rejecting the act of compassion for human beings (and all living things) is the act of the cynic, the selfish, the amoral.

                        We can't save everyone. But we're hopelessly lost unless we craft policy to save the most we can, the best we can.

                        •  Called by who? Who called us? Who? (0+ / 0-)

                          Are we hearing voices again?  Again, I do not want to discourage you from humanitarianism (though generally we do indeed choose who to help and how to help them and all too often with total disregard for how they want to be helped.  Several folks have been posting diaries on the horrors of nuns helping people in ways many now believe were not helpful at all, just one example of how those good works tend to go astray even among your own people). But go for it.  That's what charities do.  That's what missionaries do.  The United States is not a charity or a church.  It does not act with altruistic motives.  It acts out of self-interest.  That's what nation states do.  That's why they exist.  Things go badly when we get these things confused.  They don't always go so great even when we can keep them separate.

                          •  All human institutions have power to do good. (0+ / 0-)

                            It is up to all of us to insist they do more good every day.

                            Morality is not a rigid ideology to be imposed on recalcitrant reality, it is instead a difficult practice that requires a constant re-examination of itself as we learn and experience more of the world (that's where the nuns you spoke of went wrong).

                            If we do nothing, nations won't just do good on their own. They'll be captured by the super-rich and be bent to serve always and only their devices alone.

                            The US has far more power to do good than all its charities and churches combined. It is immoral or (at best) amoral for a citizen to refuse to criticize the acts of the USA and to refuse to ask it to advance the cause of good in the world.

                            Things go badly when we stop demanding our human institutions do more good in the world. They won't do so on their own.

                            Nation-states exist for many complex and chaotic historical reasons. The abstract justifications you cite did not alone will "the nation-state" into existence, but instead were created after the fact to justify its operations.

                            Nation-states act many ways, for many reasons. They are at their best when they acknowledge larger moral ends and attempt to forward them. When nations have pursued naked self-interest alone, the results have been the darkest chapters in modern human history.

                            We must not rewrite them in our times.

                •  Come on, we do care, caring enough to (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Rithmck, Portlaw

                  demonstrate in the streets against the Iraqi invasion to begin with.
                  The question is, should we kill more innocent people by bombing away. I say no.
                  The more news coming to light suggests that many Iraqis are welcoming this offensive....
                  I fear our hawks and fully expect to shortly hear that oil must be saved, protected.

                  "Lets show the rascals what Citizens United really means."

                  by smiley7 on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 07:43:51 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Hundreds of thousands have fled Mosul! (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    smiley7, Portlaw

                    Sunnis are welcoming the invasion.

                    The majority Shi'ites are fleeing in terror.

                    It's not good and is about to get worse.

                    Yes, it is heartening to recall the protests against the Bush Iraq War -- I was there in the streets along with you!

                    •  Cool, so whose side do we take and isn't that (0+ / 0-)

                      the bottom line here? I just don't see a military backing of the Sh'ite government as a solution. Maybe it's best to realize this democracy experiment of Cheney's has failed.
                      And look for another solution
                      I appreciate your postings and thoughts.
                      NATO chief tells NPR, he doesn't see a need for intervention now, I just heard.

                      "Lets show the rascals what Citizens United really means."

                      by smiley7 on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 08:06:10 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                •  Reminds me of the lines (0+ / 0-)

                  Their walls are built of cannon balls,
                  their motto is "don't tread on me"...

        •  Isolationism need not be indifference. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          smiley7, greenbell

          We can do lots behind the scenes, such as mend fences with Syria and Iran . . . and Russia.  The only sources of stability in the region, by the way.

          And we can take some of the billions we throw at the war machine and put them into humanitarian relief -- and I don't mean phony vaccination programs.

          Look, you want a war, fight it your goddam self.

          Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

          by corvo on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 06:50:58 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Mend fences with Assad? (0+ / 0-)

            Oh boy. Eek.

            I'm all for turning the American war machine into a green and humanitarian machine. We're on the same side.

            War is already here. Ignoring it resolves nothing.

            Instructing me to go personally to Iraq or Syria is out of line.

            •  No, it's not out of line. (0+ / 0-)

              You want war, sign up with Xe or whatever it's called now.

              Just leave the rest of us out of it, for once.

              Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

              by corvo on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 07:14:14 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I want to stop war. (0+ / 0-)

                Ignoring the current war won't stop it.

                Please stop personalizing a policy discussion.

                •  Then stop demanding we do something. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  greenbell

                  Right now the best we can hope for is containment (by diplomatic means involving The Axis of EEEEEvullll) and humanitarian relief.

                  Anything else just feeds the American war machine.

                  Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

                  by corvo on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 07:20:27 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Making an absolute virtue of disengagement (0+ / 0-)

                    is as misguided as Bush's absolute virtue of engagement.

                    I will not back down one bit. Those in power in the West came very close to taking military action in Syria months ago.

                    They should have done so then. It would have spared the region a larger, more deadly and more dangerous conflict now.

                    •  Yes, and I for one am delighted (0+ / 0-)

                      we didn't take military action in Syria.

                      Imposing a Salafist jihadi Caliphate isn't my idea of imposing stability on a bunch of less-than-white people, thank you very much.

                      If anything, we should've come down on the side of Assad, who runs a pretty nasty regime, but at least it isn't genocidal.

                      That would've spared you your ISIS problem but quickly.

                      Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

                      by corvo on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 07:46:11 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Only Assadists support your policy suggestion. (0+ / 0-)

                        Do you know any Syrians? How about Syrians who are not peons of Assad's brutal regime?

                        I do. They would be infuriated to hear such callous talk.

                        The answers were not simple, but dealing with ISIS when they were only a Syrian problem sure beats doing nothing until they exploded into a Syrian/Iraqi problem.

                        Doing nothing got ISIS a hell of a lot closer to their Salafist caliphate ambition which they have all but achieved today. Why is that to be lauded as a policy success? It's not.

                        •  Oh, you mean like all those Christians (0+ / 0-)

                          who are in the crosshairs of the "good guys"?

                          Keep swallowing the Western corporate propaganda if it tastes so good to you.

                          If you'd been paying attention lo these years, you'd know that our attitude toward ISIS has always been of the "wink wink nudge nudge" variety.  And now we're supposed to act all outraged because ISIS is doing precisely what we've armed and funded them to do?  Get real.

                          Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

                          by corvo on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 10:39:06 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  No, I mean anti-Assadist Syrians. (0+ / 0-)

                            As in, sane, non-murderous Syrians.

                            Advocating action to deal with unfolding catastrophe is not grounds to label me a corporate shill. Nonsense.

                            No one expects you to be outraged. People of conscience and principle are merely calling on responsible world powers to respond to some very nasty events unfolding in Iraq.

                          •  There are non-murderous Syrians (0+ / 0-)

                            and they aren't represented by any of the armed factions, nor by the puppets we keep on trying to prop up.

                            Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

                            by corvo on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 06:37:02 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

            •  They don't mind instructing the MN NG to go (0+ / 0-)

              I'm kind of old of here but I have this problem when I see the kids from all the little bergs out here dressed up in MINNESOTA NG gear being sent off to war in some country that has nothing whatever to do with MINNESOTA.  They should stay home and defend us from mosquitos or fight the Canadians over fish.  You know do something useful for MINNESOTA not reorder the world to suit some service dodging elitist neocon sitting in his think tank in DC.

              •  Humanitarian values are global. (0+ / 0-)

                We can't build social justice by refusing to acknowledge non-American humanity. It's also hypocritical, as our suburban comforts are all drawn from our 1% catbird seat in world trade (fund cheap products by outsourcing cheap labor and massive pollution).

                Yes, protest neo-liberal war-mongering. But in the name of justice for all, not just justice for suburban Minnesotans.

                •  If you or Bill Gates or Warren Buffet or Bono (0+ / 0-)

                  want to go do a global humanitarian mission, fine.  But that is not the purpose of the US government.  You can see right there in Iraq what happens when people don't have a common understanding of the rules of their nation state.  That's what happens when you just make stuff up.  We have a Constitution which defines our purpose and that purpose has NOTHING to do with Iraq.  The only people who have a prayer of making that case are the ones who tell us we might freeze if they don't secure the oil.  At least they can connect the dots to Minnesota.  

                  •  I want social justice progress in the world. (0+ / 0-)

                    That work is all-consuming and not a charity benefit ball. No. It entails the long and tedious struggle to make imperfect human institutions more perfect. The Constitution does not make policy. It wasn't intended to. Its only scope was to empower three branches of government to determine and implement policy. Deciding what policies do the most good (BOTH for Americans AND the world) is precisely what the Constitution demands us to debate. That's why we debate!

                    •  "I want" (0+ / 0-)

                      You want to reorder the world to fit YOUR world view.  And with the arrogance of a good neo-con, you think you know what is good for everyone else in the world when it's hard enough to figure out what's good for everyone on your block.  

                      One of the reasons I don't apologize for being religious is because I think it helps separate the realms of "good and evil" (very dangerous territory) from the pragmatic needs of civil society.  

                      The US government was not created to do good.  If you want to set up an institution to do good, start a church or fund a charity.  The US government was setup to represent the people of this and no other country.  The people in Iraq do not get a vote in the "good" we deliver in the form of bunker bombs or just plain chaos.  That is the root of the problem.  They had no vote.

                      •  We either work for goals or work for nothing. (0+ / 0-)

                        Working for nothing is not admirable.

                        It's not moral. It's literally purposeless.

                        Working to better the world means listening to others, taking their views and aspirations into account, and endlessly refining and revising how change is crafted.

                        It is the opposite of monolithic. It is engagement.

                        Disengagement and disinterest in the lives and fates of others only advances the cause of violence, terror, and evil.

                        All human institutions can be pushed to do good things. All.
                        But they won't do so if we don't endlessly insist they do.

                        People do not gain rights, freedoms and justice by going to church or attending a charity raffle. Gains are made when slowly, painfully, human institutions are badgered, tugged. and forced kicking and screaming to serve moral ends.

                        The roots of Iraq's problems are far deeper than any abstract vote or lack of vote. They go back centuries to tribal culture, then heavily shaped in recent times by the brutal history of the oil industry, colonial jousting in the Middle East by world powers, tangled up with poverty, authoritarianism, and sectarian strife

                        When faced with that kind of mess of the world, we must plead with human institutions to make things better. Refusing to pressure them means merely accepting the ills as they are.

                        That's not good enough.

                        •  You keep repeating "good" and "moral" as if there (0+ / 0-)

                          is any objective measure of either.  Those are value laden words.  Again, I suggest you choose the faith based organization of your choice to pursue your moral goal of doing good.  

                          •  No. I refuse to stop demanding govts be good. (0+ / 0-)

                            No, never. The second we do, the forces of evil win.

                            Good is something I want organizations to embody in the world. It's not a hobby or a fairy tale I will restrict to a charity black-tie formal dance or a once-weekly sermon to sleep through.

                            Such passivity is not becoming.

                            They call them "activists" for a reason. I stand with them.

                •  How have those humanitarian values worked out (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  greenbell

                  in Libya?

                  During the original conflict many here were extolling the virtues of the February 17th Martyrs Brigade as "freedom fighters". This group was also tasked with helping to secure the diplomatic mission in Benghazi. Now this brigade is on the receiving end of the bombing by Khalifa Haftar.

                  Benjamin Franklin's old adage "If you lie down with dogs, you get up with fleas". Even a cursory examination of the group at the time of the overthrow of Qaddafi showed they were dogs so for many here, the current situation in Libya comes as no surprise.

                  •  I was not involved with the Libya discussion. (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Claudius Bombarnac

                    Poor and unstable countries will require continuous and difficult commitment by many outside forces to improve.

                    Re-evaluating actions and allies is an on-going imperative.

                    Absolute disengagement as guiding principle means just telling the world to go to hell. It is an abdication of any value at all and I will argue against such an action so long as there is breath in my body.

                    •  Many countries are poor and unstable due to (0+ / 0-)

                      outside forces intervening in their internal politics. Most would be better left alone to sort out their differences. I'm hard pressed to think of one US intervention out of the 70 or so in the last century that turned out for the better for the ordinary people.

                      I do not think the US should be the arbiter of what is right and wrong in the world. It acts only out of it's own self interest which is usually defined as the self interest of the monied class.

                      In this light, Iraq and Afghanistan were a disaster for humanity but greatly increased the fortunes of the MIC and oil conglomerates.

    •  How, precisely, was the U.S. to "stop" (0+ / 0-)

      . . . Syria's civil war? By invading & occupying the country? Because that's what it would have taken. By air & missile strikes? These would have degraded the Assad regime's military superiority & made for a more even fight, but this would have been just more gasoline on the flames. So maybe there would have been jihadi rule in Damascus rather than in Mosul. By "arming the rebels"? Well, Saudi Arabia & Qatar have done precisely that, & this is where that strategy has led.

      This situation already IS extremist chaos. Re-engagement by U.S. forces would only worsen that situation. We lit this fire by invading Iraq & removing Saddam Hussein, destroying the country's infrastructure, imposing shock therapy on its economy, disbanding its army, & brutally occupying the country for 8 years. The Iraq War drained our treasury, killed 4,500 of our young men & women & maimed tens of thousands more, & undermined our credibility & whatever moral authority we could claim. It bled us dry & left us militarily exhausted & politically polarized. We lack the power & the political will to put this fire out. Such are the wages of folly.

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