I've answered this same, or a similar, question in several other threads....
One regarding the War on Terror & Iraq is here (my second post down, I think):
I don't know what the appropriate course of action is to take at this point. I would say that the best we can do is examine the failure and poor
judgment that has taken place to date and learn from it. Continuing to cheerlead this war and play up the "positive" aspects, if any, it has, will
only serve to lengthen the time it takes before a new generation of Americans learn why the United States has never fared well in the unilateral
nation building game. Not to mention the time it will take to change tactics in fighting the "war on terror" as a whole.
For the average American, all I can say one can do is:
1.) Don't vote for any politician who wishes to escalate a strategy of invading terror free nations in the hopes of turning them into "terrorist
2.) Don't vote for any politician who wishes to pursue wars non-related to the war on terror at a time when we need to build international consensus
and focus our resources on the main (ie, terroist) threat.
3.) Support our troops. The hawks have clearly learned nothing from Vietnam, but this doesn't mean the rest of us can't learn either. Don't vote
for any politician who would reduce the benefits and medical care available for returning veterans, and remember that the military did it's job in
Iraq with great skill.
For the policy makers, I have nothing original to say that hasn't been said to them already by the advisors they chose to ignore. To fight terror, we
need a global consensus, and the problem has to be treated through negotiation and diplomatic channels, via extraditions and concerted efforts to
locate and destroy terrorists. Not via unilateral wars which eat up all our resources and engender resistance to US policy, even when that policy may
be "good." Iraq now poses a serious terrorist threat, but we shouldn't forget the other nations that did so before we turned Iraq into what it is
today: North Korea, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen, to name a few.
As for Iraq, dealing with the situation on a tactical level, like I said, I don't know... The only two options I can think of are escalation or
"Vietnamization," both policies which clearly failed in the past. As an American, I would vote for the Vietnamization option, since this would get
our troops out of harms way the fastest. As a global citizen, though, I realize that this leaves Iraq in a lurch. Perhaps a third way is to turn to
the UN and international body, and redraw Iraq's borders, so the Kurds, Shiites, and Sunnis have autonomous regions. It's certainly not a perfect
solution by a long shot, but then the nation of Iraq was an imperialist fiction to begin with, and it seems to have worked somewhat in the case of the
former Yugoslavia. At the very least, we should be exploring this option.
One regarding Iraq more specifically is at PTS, here (it contains some political vitriol, but it was at PTS originally):
I would read my Intelligence Community reports, which would tell me clearly that there were no substantial links between al Qaeda and Iraq. I would
then shift my attention to those regions that posed the largest threat, and devote the largest block of our resources, diplomatic, military and
intelligence-related, towards assessing all possible ways of dealing with those regions. Saudi Arabia would be one, the source of most of the world's
terror funding. And then Pakistan, Russia, and North Korea, all nations from which al Qaeda could much more easily purchase WMD material than Iraq.
EDIT: Rest deleted, go to PTS for the full thing.
[edit on 21-8-2005 by koji_K]