Saturday, October 22, 2011

Out of Iraq-- a war we never should have gotten into

I had the following comment on a website I visit sometimes that caters mainly to conservative Christians. In particular, a poster back in 2007 (during the 'surge') had posted that Iraq was still a 'war we could win.') But the comment is appropriate as well as a blog post so I'll put it up here too.

The President announced yesterday that all troops will be home by the end of the year.

Hard to see how this is a 'win.' At best, a Pyrrhic victory.

We are leaving Iraq with a government friendly to Iran, in fact one in which Moqtada al-Sadr holds more power than anyone except the Prime Minister (who is dependent on al-Sadr for his ability to govern at all.) Iran has essentially a free hand in Iraq, and its former Badr militia are now the core of the Iraqi army.

If there is any democracy at all, it is very disfunctional (look at what came out of the last election, when it took months to form a government and the winner became the loser because al-Sadr decided to make it so.) Half the population (the female half) actually have less rights in matters like divorce, inheritance and custody than they had even under Saddam, and the Constitution begins with the phrase "Sharia shall be a source of law" which the parliament has acted on it with enthusiasm, writing Islamist laws to replace the secular ones. Not surprisingly in such an environment tens of thousands of Christians, a community that dates to the very early church, have had to flee the country and nobody has done anything to prevent it.

In exchange for this rather dubious outcome, we fought for eight years (longer than we fought in World War II and Korea put together,) paid a trillion dollars of borrowed money (which is now part of the debt that everyone is wringing their hands about) and lost more than 4,000 Americans (with tens of thousands crippled or suffering from chronic conditions.)

How does that in any way, shape or form, qualify as a 'win?'

If anybody 'won' the Iraq war, it's Iran, and they did it without firing a shot.

I'm just glad we are out of there.

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