I say to you: been there, done that.
Saying that we have enough problems of our own is reason enough to have avoided invading Iraq ignores several realities:
- We’re already there. Unless you have a time machine and can prevent this somehow, it’s fairly useless to bring this up in the current context. Further, you cannot pretend that we can leave without creating a bigger mess than we may be by staying put as long as the Iraqi government wants us to be there.
- The Iraqi people have been systematically brutalized and murdered for decades. Technology and proximity gave Saddam Hussein an advantage that, for example, King George III never had. (Read: comparisons to the American Revolution are inane, at best.)
- On a related note, we are the only remaining world power that has the ability to globally project a sizable force to do anything about murderous dictators. It is incumbent on us, like it or not, to do something. One merely needs to look to the past to see the part that U.S. isolationism played in setting the stage for World War II.
Please do not assume that I am suggesting that we intervene into the affairs of North Korea or Iran. I am gravely concerned about developments in both countries but to be honest I don’t see any evidence of widespread or routine atrocities as we were long aware of in Iraq. The current administration’s recent softening on Iran and continued pursuit – indeed, insistence – of multilateral talks with North Korea are heartening. Military intervention should properly be reserved as a last resort.
Support the troops, and make it known to our leaders that while you want us to disengage as soon as we can safely do so, that you want them to do whatever they can to ensure that we leave an Iraq that is strong enough to take care of itself. Recovering from these last decades is going to be no easy task.