Monday, June 15, 2015

Week of 06/15/2015

Why We Continue To Fail In Iraq
We just can’t seem to get a break when it comes to Iraq.
Once upon a time we thought that the problem was simply their thug leader, Saddam Hussein.  A tin-plated dictator with delusions of grandeur who carried himself like something straight out of the comic books or professional wrestling.  In fact, professional wrestlers playing “heels” patterned themselves after him.
We used to have a script that he was eager to play out.  Saddam would act up, we’d make noise, he’d rattle some sabers, we’d bomb him, he’d scream bloody murder, then he’d shut up and we would declare victory.  Lather, rinse, repeat.
Then we decided we weren’t going to play around any longer.  We found him, we caught him, we let him face justice for his crimes, and we supposedly “helped” the Iraqi people rebuild their government and let them decide how they want to run it.  That should be it.  We had a Texas doofus unfurl his “Mission Accomplished” banner, make a big speech in his flight suit onboard an aircraft carrier, and even start talks about bringing our soldiers home.
So why are we still there?  Why is that same doofus still talking about needing “boots on the ground”?  Why are we still hearing about that country needing help?
Simple... because we failed to learn.
Let’s start with the basics.  We, the United States, helped put Saddam in charge.  We helped keep him in charge.  And everything was “stable” back then because they were united in their hatred of Saddam.  Our damned politicians and their god-dammed Cold War games did this.
We also got sold on some delusional fantasies.  We get rid of Saddam and we’d supposedly be “hailed as liberators”.  We get rid of Saddam and freedom would just rain down on that country like manna from the heavens.  We get rid of Saddam and the oil crunch would be over with.
Delusional, delusional, delusional.
You know what?  We here in America didn’t really know what freedom was either when we got started.  We had to be sold on the idea of freedom by people who didn’t even have the courage to sign their own names at first.  And even then we didn’t know what “freedom” really meant.  It would take almost a hundred years before we realized that “all men are created equal” meant just that, no matter the race.  And even then we still couldn’t accept it completely.
So how can we believe that a part of the world that has never really known freedom would suddenly embrace it when we get rid of their dictator?
You have a country divided three ways that were previously united by one thing: their hatred of Saddam.  Get rid of that, and each of those groups want to be the next Saddam.  And the faction that was in power and got all of the perks because of Saddam are suddenly without power.  Do you think they have a favorable idea of what “freedom” means?
Remember what Germany was like after World War I?  The people there didn’t like being told that they lost, never mind being forced to repay other countries for reparations.  That’s what the Sunnis in Iraq feel like after Saddam was removed from power.  Do you really think that they would be willing to rebuild Iraq and embrace something that for them has so far meant humiliation and failure?
Then we have the Iraqi soldiers that we’ve been trying to train.  We spend time and money and resources to train them, to show them how to keep the peace, and then we hear reports of them simply abandoning those weapons and running away.
Yes, it’s frustrating.  But consider this: what happens when we hear that?  We tell ourselves that we have to go back over here and take care of things for them.
So why should we continue to spend time and money and weapons on them when they don’t want to actually work on defending their own country?  They have no reason to dedicate themselves to the job if they know that we will come back and give them money and weapons and training.
Tell you what, friends of the Doofus... if you’re so hell-bent on “boots on the ground”, why don’t you go there yourselves?  Then you won’t have any excuse when – not if – those people you help suddenly drop their rifles and run all over again.
That brings us to the latest threat... the Islamic State.
We supposedly “don’t know” how to deal with this new threat that makes Cobra... oops, I mean al Qaeda... downright impotent.  But here’s the thing: I.S. manages to seduce people who feel poor, aimless, and powerless to their cause by giving them a false sense of power and purpose.
So how do you counter that?  And how can you do that when it’s your own mechanizations that caused the problem in the first place?
Let’s get brutally honest here... we continue to fail in Iraq because we refuse to accept the realities of that part of the world.  It’s really not about Islam.  It’s about society and economics.  It’s about messes that we refuse to accept responsibility for, and stupidly think that all we need to do is to send more soldiers.  And as long as we continue to stick our heads in the sands of cable news ignorance, we will refuse to learn from those mistakes, and we will continue to waste blood and money for those mistakes.

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