With ISIS bearing down on Baghdad, the talk has turned to whether or not the US military will end up back in Iraq. Prime Minister of Iraq Nouri al-Maliki asked for American air strikes to help in their fight against ISIS, and reports say that Obama has refused so far.
This has been discussed to no end in the media, so there’s no need to get into a detailed explanation of things. There’s ample sources for any and all opinions on what America should do.
My personal belief is that America needs to stay out of the sectarian fighting in the Middle East. Our actions, whether knowingly or not, tend to inflame things more than they help. As much as we want to help, sometimes people have to help themselves before others can assist. You can’t force democracy at the tip of a gun barrel. People who want it will actively seek it. All we’ve been doing is taking out one despot for another. That does nothing but piss off the people living in the country.
Now, on the other hand, if Iraq stands up for itself and needs a bit of assistance to complete their mission, then I may be persuaded to change my opinion. If we’re helping them bolster their own fight, that’s one thing. Fighting their battle for them is entirely different.
One last mention on Iraq. Neither Bush nor Obama “lost” Iraq. If anybody accomplished that, it was al-Maliki who did the deed. By not including all three groups, Sunni, Shia, and Kurd in the formation of their new government, he basically invited sectarian violence into his home by his actions of purposefully excluding everyone in his coalition. Both Bush and Obama tried to negotiate an extended presence for US troops to aid in security, but al-Maliki basically gave them both the finger. The least that America could have done was hang around and provide security until Iraq had established itself, but when the Prime Minister doesn’t want you there and refuses your offers, then he’s basically said that he’s on his own. That’s where America needs to leave Iraq. On. It’s. Own.