Friday, June 13, 2014

Eye-raq

So let's see. Iraq had a secular dictator, a lapsed Muslim, under whom Christians (Chaldean Catholics mostly, with their smaller Nestorian parent church) lived relatively in peace, as did everybody as long as you stayed out of politics. (Nobody pretended Iraq was free.) We backed him in the war with Iran (which was mad at us for overthrowing their government in the '50s and installing the Shah), Shi'ite Muslims; they and the Sunni majority in Islam are as different as Catholics (whom the Shi'ites sort of resemble) from Protestants and hate each other even more. Then Bush the elder turned on him and invaded (why?). Ten years later something nothing to do with Iraq happened: mostly Saudi Sunnis mad at us for meddling against Palestine and stationing soldiers on their holy ground hijacked airliners and flew them into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Bush the younger blamed Iraq for some reason and invaded like an idiot. Neocon (warmed-over liberal) nation-building, handing the country to the Shi'ites for some reason, which has just failed. Rather like Vietnam (which, though a liberal crusade, at least sort of made sense, fighting Communism, which unlike Iraq was out to get us). Devout Sunnis are taking over. Some are saying we are obligated to go in since we made the mess. I'm not saying that but just shaking my head. I'm not joining in the elite left's hatred of Bush but the blood of all those Iraqis is on him.

I've heard Iraq is breaking up into separate countries (Kurdistan and maybe Sunni and Shi'ite ones); just as well since it's a made-up country. The Central Powers should have won World War I (it would have saved Western civilization: unser Kaiser, Karl), but after they lost, the British carved up the Ottoman Empire. Iraq and Kuwait are just lines Winston Churchill drew on a map.

P.S. You don't want to live in a Muslim country.

3 comments:

  1. The Christians have been killed, tortured, persecuted and exiled since the US went into Iraq. Now the Christians in the North are being done in. The silence and collusion is egregious.

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  2. "Then Bush the elder turned on him and invaded (why?)"

    Oh, come on. You know why -- Because Kuwait asked for help, and it was considered in our national interest at the time to contain Saddam Hussein. Gulf War I made sense because it preserved the balance between Iran and Iraq and the general stability of the region. Stability was clearly the goal, which is why we fully stopped once the threat to Kuwait was over and began Operations Northern and Southern Watch to ensure the balance remained.

    Gulf War II? That made little sense in retrospect because it mostly destabilized the entire region and eliminated Iran's largest geopolitical foe. Saddam Hussein probably talked tough more to keep the Iranians out than to provoke us, and we have largely made the situation worse in the short term. On the bright side, ISIS will probably provoke a long overdue regional war that will undo the artificial boundaries you note.

    With regard to WWI, that's an...interesting...thesis. I am not able to predict how the Central Powers would have acted following their own victory, anymore than I might predict Napoleon, the Mongols, Xerxes, or Darius. Usually revisionist historians prefer to debate what would have been more productive than the lukewarm compromises of Treaty of Versailles that the British influenced. Either France's desire to punish Germany thoroughly or our own hope of rebuilding and befriending them would have done far more to prevent WWII than stinging German pride enough to cause a grudge while leaving them the resources in place to recover violently and aggressively.

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  3. I hear the neocons blaming Obama for Iraq sliding into the abyss. I don't like our current president, but it is really their fault. They persuaded Bush II to invade Iraq. Saddam Hussein was no threat and kept the radical Islamists in check. This unjust and pointless war cost the lives of thousands of American soldiers, hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, and caused the possibly final destruction one of the oldest Christian communities in the world. The jihadists would not be taking over Iraq if Bush left well enough alone. I believe Bush had a simplistic, far from nuanced view of the world and foreign policy. Saddam Hussein may have been a bad man, but are we going to start wars with all the bad men in the world? That would probably be at least half the nations on earth.

    Anthony

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