Avatar of admin

by

Back in Iraq?

July 29, 2014 in Economics

By Doug Bandow

Doug Bandow

Little more than a decade ago, the United States invaded Iraq. The promised cakewalk turned out far different than expected. Today its government and entire state, created by Washington, are in crisis. Yet the same voices again are being raised calling for military intervention, with the promise that this time everything will turn out well.

Social engineers never seem to learn. It is hard enough to redesign and remake individuals, families, and communities in the United States. It is far harder to do so overseas.

Nation-building requires surmounting often vast differences in tradition, culture, history, religion, ethnicity, ideology, geography, and more. Doing so also requires suppressing people’s natural desire to govern themselves.

It doesn’t matter if Americans could do it better. With positions reversed they would insist that the foreigners, however well-meaning, leave them alone. Imagine if the French offered to—nay, insisted on—sticking around at the end of the Revolutionary War to “help” the backward colonials make a new nation. Guns would again be pulled down from fireplace mantles across the land!

The obvious—indeed, only—policy for Americans is to run, not walk, away from the mess.”

Yet these days Washington continues to try to fix the world’s problems. In recent years the United States has deployed forces to Haiti, Somalia, Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Iraq. Occupying these lands was in no case a military necessity. Nation-building has not turned out particularly well.

However, until now Washington at least has limited itself to one bout of society-molding per country. Reentering Iraq would be an attempted redo barely a decade after the first go. Rarely has a victorious war proved to be so fruitless and counterproductive so quickly.

Remember the original promises surrounding the Iraq operation? A quick, bloodless war would destroy dangerous weapons of mass destruction and “drain the swamp,” eliminating terrorism.The United States would guarantee a friendly, compliant government by imposing as president an exile who hadn’t lived in the country for decades. The new Iraq would implement democracy,eschew sectarian division, protect women’s rights, and even recognize Israel, while providing America bases for use in attacking neighboring states, including Iran, which with its Shia majority shared manifold religious, cultural, and personal ties with Iraq.

It was a wonderful wish list. Alas, it turned out to be pure fantasy. The conflict killed thousands and wounded tens of thousands of Americans, while killing hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and displacing millions more. The ancient …read more

Source: OP-EDS

Leave a reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.