Iraq is currently fighting a civil war, whether they admit it or not. Muslim countries tend to fight a lot of them. No sane person wants war, which makes me wonder exactly what those blowhard politicians in Washington are thinking. They claim they want to provide military and humanitarian aid to reestablish order and stability in the region (the oil companies probably talked them into it; instability is bad for business). However, none of them seem to be taking into account the actual cost fighting yet another war in the middle of an economic crisis, nor the anti-war public sentiment on the rise. Here are some of the reasons Americans don’t want to go back:
#1: The cost of invasion
To be realistic, the United States doesn’t have the money to wage war. We’re running deficits of a trillion dollars a year and debt into the tens of trillions; even selling California to our creditors wouldn’t make us financially stable. And it would cost hundreds of billions a year to re-invade Iraq, further driving up the national debt while getting nothing in return, except lots of grief and VA bill as long as my arm. Plus, the burden of wars always ends up being put on the citizenry, which means tax increases. We can barely afford the taxes we have now!
#2: No popular support at home
We’ve been in a constant state of war for over a century and people are getting tired of it. Most believe President George W. Bush lied to get us into Iraq and even more believe 9/11 was an inside job. They don’t trust another war would be any different than the wars we’ve fought in the last sixty years: Completely irrelevant to Americans. Our soldiers are supposed to defend our country, not fight other nations’ battles. I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of seeing my friends come home in pieces, or else in boxes.
#3: A thousand-year feud
Muslims have been killing each other for a thousand years over differing interpretations of the same religion (similar to Catholics vs. Protestants). Religion isn’t something which can’t be solved in courtrooms or debated in forums filled with energetic, intelligent people. When dealing in absolutes, and neither side willing to “live and let live”, war is the inevitable, tragic outcome. By siding with any one group, we would be in essence acknowledging which interpretation of the Muslim faith America endorses, which is something we really, really, really don’t want to do if we’re trying to encourage democracy and freedom of religion.
#4: Stabilizing efforts won’t work
If we did invade Iraq again, chances are the plan would be to crush the rebels, occupy the country until the government was stabilized and peace restored to the region, with possible help from Iran though I wouldn’t count on it, and be out in 18 months. Sounds easy, right? That was the plan last time, and then we ended up staying for 10 years and the situation quickly deteriorated after we left. If we invade and pull out again after a year, we’ll be back in five for sure, fighting off rebels and chasing terrorists through the deserts once again. Bring sunscreen and a hat.
#5: No clear vision of victory
Remember, it takes two to three generations to successfully establish a new, stable democracy. That’s not going to happen in former totalitarian Muslim state. It took two generation (roughly forty years) to turn Japan into a stable, neutral, democratic society in a former totalitarian regime post WWII. Iraq is in much the same situation and requires just as much time and patience on our part, which we literally can’t afford any longer. More to the point, Americans are tired and want to be left alone to live in peace, something they can’t do if their leaders keep sending them off to fight wars.
And really, what do we care which side wins? Sunni, Shiite, Kurdish, ISIS, it doesn’t make much difference to Americans, we just want the oil. And since the Iraqi economy is solely based on petroleum, it’s not like they will stop selling it to us. So what if the regional conflict causes a brief disruption in the supply line? It would be just as much of a disruption if we re-invaded, only more costly for us. Let the Iraqis settle their differences and we’ll do business with the winner.