Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Ghosts of Iraqi freedom haunt me

I can't say that the violence and bloodshed in Iraq today is a surprise to me, so I presume that many, many of the people who participated in the political maneuvers of 2007-2008, when madness reigned in Iraq, are also NOT surprised in the least.
I wonder what Gen. Petraeus thinks today of the enormous payments to the Son's of Iraq fighters for their pledge to not kill American troops or Iraqi citizens, as well as the nearly $400 million payoff to Muqtada al Sadr and his Sunni Mahdi warriors to stop fueling the fire of civil war in Iraq?
Does anyone believe that al Sadr didn't plow that cash into new weaponry for his army, or that the Sons and their minions didn't use American $100 bills to strengthen their armory?
The very people the general paid off are the people - along with other angry young men from the region - who  now are attacking the Iraqi government. The same government that we (the U.S.) hastily installed in 2008, with little regard to the competence, capabilities, or honor of the "leaders" we selected, particularly Prime Minister al-Maliki, (president, king, or whatever he imagines himself to be today).
The history of our incursion into that nation is yet to be written with any finality, and I fear that the last chapters will not be kind to American memories of sacrifice, not to mention American political prowess and power.
The ominous move this week that President Obama was compelled to make - sending in military "advisers" - may foreshadow a new and bloodier intervention in that dusty, hot, hard-pressed nation. I truly hope not.
Have pity on the Iraqi people who are, sadly, batted back and forth between sectarian bullies and U.S. policymakers who, for the moment, seems to be driven by national pride rather than reasoned, strategic thinking, guided toward stabilizing Iraq.
So much treasure spent by our nation in that Middle Eastern hell. And the longed-for Iraqi peace, prosperity, and democratic government is still only a wisp of smoke in the wind.
I am grateful today to NOT be in Iraq, Sudan, Syria, Egypt, Somalia, Ukraine, and dozens of other badly mauled countries where people live under the constant threat of pointless death for the sake of political (or religious) aims.
Thank you, God. Amen.