Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Iraq and Moral Responsibility

In the pasts several months I've had discussions with three close friends in which they have told me that five years ago they were mistaken and I was correct about the then just beginning war in Iraq. These three friends were each pro-invasion. I was opposed to America's invasion of Iraq.

They, like most Americans then, believed it would be a intense but quick war and American troops would be victorious and come home. I believed that it would be a quick, perhaps blood war, but we, as I said then, would be bringing young Americans home in body-bags for the next fifty years. I still believe that this will be the case.

As bad as that is, I do believe, now that the die is cast, that the worst thing that we could do is just pickup and leave the Iraqis to their fate. By invading Iraq we have stirred up a hornets nest. The nest that we have irritated was there for everyone to see. I am certain the people in the State Department who knew Iraq's history plus ethnic and religious demographics of the country must have foreseen what is now reality there. Put the President would not listen to such people, he had made up his mind and would not be persuaded by the facts.

I saw some of it and I am certainly no expert. However, I did serve in the military and I had a fair understanding of what things were like over there. I had this understanding because of a secret briefing that I received in 1980, because I was a Navy Aircrew man, before I went on deployment to the Gulf of Oman, near the Straits of Hormuz. I remembered that briefing and had read more about Iraq, it's history and peoples since then, this gave me insights that most Americans did not have.

If I could see what would happen certainly many others in the military and State Department must have foreseen it, but those who saw the clearly were ignored and now we have been fighting brush-fires in Iraq for five years, 4,ooo American service men and women are dead and Iraq is in tatters.

The Democratic Candidates for president promise to "bring the troops home." OK. The American people "want the troops home." I believe that such a move would lead to civil war and a far greater blood bath in Iraq. An American pull out at this time would lead to a holocaust. I could also pour over Iraq's borders and destabilise other (somewhat pro-American) nations in the region.

We toppled the de facto government in Iraq and blinded by our on democratic mythology, tried to establish democracy in a land and culture unprepared for democracy. We NOW have a moral obligation to see this thing through to the end. We started it by invading the country and toppling its two-bit thug dictator.

Saddam was a murderous thug, but it is not our duty to remove thugs from power in other countries, but now that we have done the deed it would be cowardly to shrink from the obligations that we have brought on ourselves by our own free choice. It would be more immoral for us to simply up and leave Iraq now, than it is to continue there until a stable (which will not be a democracy) is established, even though it means that we will, for the foreseeable future, have to bring a handful of brave young Americans home in body-bags, as we are now doing.

We made a very bad decision. The question is do we have the moral courage and intestinal fortitude to live up to the obligations that that bad decision has put on our shoulders?

Coram Deo,


GumboFilé said...

The US goverment is not capable of accomplishing what you suggest. What you are suggesting is nothing but another big government program, which will fail to accomplish its intended purpose, for which it will be rewarded with increased funding. The negative results of withdrawal are actually unavoidable results of the invasion. It's not a matter of if it will happen, only when.

Cajun Huguenot said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cajun Huguenot said...

I don't thing Iraq was not worth one drop of American blood, we should never hae but the boot of one soldier on the ground there.

As I said earlier, we should not have started this war, but we did start it and therefore we are obligated to establish a viable government (and it will not be one that any Westerner would aprove of) that will be able to prevent all out civil war or the slaughter of those people that sided with us.

In my opinion the best form of government should be a weak central gov. in Baghdad and stronger governments in the provinces that reflect the religious or ethnic majorities of the area (a type of confederacy)

We are morally obligated to stay long enough to get that done. I wish we had never gone there. and we destroyed the dictatorship of Saddam. Bad as that was, it is the kind of Government that was needed to keep that country together.

I don't like the situation, but we took this burdon on ourselves. The American people were for the war, now we have to finish what we started. It is our moral duty to get it done.

I hope we learn that being world policeman is very expensive in both blood and treasure. I hope we learn that the price is far too high, so next time we will mind our own business and not allow some politian talk us into a needless war.



GumboFilé said...

I don't dispute you re what we should do. My point is that it is not possible for us to do it. If we have to stay until we get it done it means we stay forever. We can't stay forever. Let's leave now. The longer we stay, the worse it's going to get.

Cajun Huguenot said...

I know that we agreed before the war that we had no valid reason to invade Iraq. I, like you would like to see no American military on the ground in Iraq, Korea, Philippines, Poland, Kosovo, Kuwait etc...

The fact is the U.S. government will have some kind of military presence in Iraq for the foreseeable future. Even the Dems, will leave a presence there. I am sure we will "lease" a base (for 100 or more years) in the desert and have troops and aircraft therefor the life time of our children and grandchildren.

I want American troops from around the world brought home, but it ain't gonna happen.

Iraq, can and should have a government or governments in place strong enough to avert anarchy/civil war before we pull the bulk of our troops from the country.

I would like to have them all home yesterday, but I believe that if you make a mess it is your job and your moral to clean it up as best you can.

I think Islam is a dangerous, warlike religion but it is our Christian duty to protect these Muslims because we destroyed the de facto government.

I guess we will just disagree on this point. Perhaps we can discuss it over a few beers at the Blue Moon Saloon soon.


GumboFilé said...

Abita Strawberry Harvest Lager. You're on vacation. When should I expect you.

Cajun Huguenot said...

We are going to see Christian tomorrow, but will come back on Wednesday. Let's talk and try to get together when I get back from Florida.

GumboFilé said...

I hope to see y'all Friday.