We invaded Iraq. While the long term military and geopolitical benefits, if any remain or existed in the first place, are debatable, the net result -
so far at least - was sectarian violence on an unpredicted scale, outright civil war, untold dead, and an arguably friendlier regime to Western
interests in the region (though certainly not the free and democratic, secular, peaceful regime we were told would result.)
Today the country is gripped by new popular uprisings and new forms of chaos. Power still has yet to be reliably restored to much of the country. And
we've largely pulled out of the country militarily. I guess we can consider as a benefit the fact that it also generated favorable business ventures
for various contractors and corporations facilitating delivery of all sorts of goods and resources from that nation (which is just me putting on my
pragmatic hat for the sake of argument.)
But my point/question is: did we accomplish the goal stated by TC of eliminating every regime or sect in the country that we take umbrage with in
reference to their human rights abuses and other issues? I think it's clear that we did not, as Iraq is still rife with killings, sectarian division,
and conflict. So what would have been necessary to achieve that - forget the whole region - just in Iraq, alone? A scorched earth policy eradicating
every violent or extremist sectarian sect in the country? A permanent (and much larger and more robust) military policing presence? Glass the whole
My father, who used to be in the special forces, explained to me how only very rarely has a popular insurgency been defeated by conventional military
means. And that was in a naturally confined operational theater (I think it may have been an island actually,) and through a brutal, scorched earth
policy where everything and everyone that could conceal the insurgents was completely annihilated. Can we even begin to imagine, let alone carefully
calculate, the cost in treasure and lives that such an effort would bear on the scale of a nation state the size and complexity of Iraq?
Of the entire region?
Would the U.S. and Britain alone be able to accomplish this at all? Would it not take an allied invasion the likes of which has not been seen since
With utmost respect as always to everyone's opinions and feelings, and without any intent to offend, what I feel is being advocated here is nothing
less than WW3 on an unimaginable scale, and, perhaps, wholesale ethnic cleansing or at least sectarian cleansing, if we're serious about purging the
region of every single sect and political movement that could deprive the rest of the people in the region of their rights and freedoms, or bring
about the violence we're seeing there currently. And then
occupy it and police it effectively enough to ensure that it doesn't recede back into
the dark ages, as we simultaneously rebuild the region and bring it up to modern standards of living and education as we would have to in order to
ensure that this never happens again.
Then there are the broader international ramifications. Sympathy generated in predominantly Muslim states, and ensuing popular uprisings. Militant
forces forming and trying to overrun the bases in previously friendly - now suddenly hostile due to popular discontent at the invasion of what they
perceive as their world - nations in the region, bases necessary to support said invasion. The potential overthrow by zealous militants of a nuclear
armed state such as Pakistan. The defense of Israel that would have to be undertaken in response to the all but guaranteed united front the Arab world
would present against it following such an invasion. Increased frequency of international terror. Wholesale global instability and financial chaos.
Etc. etc. etc. I do not believe, even were I in favor of such a plan, that it is as simple as "let's invade the entire region and get it over
For all of the reasons above, as well as my own ethical positions, I cannot advocate such an approach. I would
however support a war against
intolerance and ignorance, a war against brutal sensibilities and ideologies, fought with education, information, diplomacy, humanity, compassion, and
communication - in good faith, not a political tool taking the form of propaganda. I know that may strike many as incredibly naive and unrealistic.
But when one considers the alternative approach being suggested, and the unthinkable costs involved, is it not worth making an equal effort in pursuit
of a truly successful peaceful solution?
My two cents. Peace.
edit on 9/30/2012 by AceWombat04 because: Typo