February 28, 2005

Where America Went Wrong In Iraq

In the beginning, there were WMD's, and all was well. The Bush administration tried to push this possible threat to everyone who listened, from the general public to the UN to the leaders of other nations. And it was good, or at least a credible reason as to why Saddam Hussein should be taken out of power. "I believe Saddam Hussein is a threat to the American people. I believe he's a threat to the neighborhood in which he lives. And I've got a good evidence to believe that."

He was wrong.

Saddam Hussein had no weapons of mass destruction. He had almost no weapons period. In fact, there was no way he could have harmed any of his neighbors. They were all stronger than him. And as for harming his own people? They were living in a 3rd world country already. No dictator is going to be able to make their lives any worse.

And then the US said, "Let there be an invasion of Iraq!" And then there was an invasion. And the American military struck swiftly, and within 3 months, Bush went on an airplane to proclaim "mission accomplished."

Once again, he was wrong.

It turns out that even though the war against the government was over, Saddam still had a few tricks up his sleeve. Planning an insurgency ahead of time, this very force managed to hamper and harass the US military, overextending it, forcing it onto the defensive to this very day. The insurgency threat is very real, and is very dangerous. They are the newest form of the Vietcong, striking wherever they feel like, daily, and when engaged, slip away under the cover of darkness to another hiding spot.

And so the US said, "Grant thine Iraqis thine free elections, and all will be well." And so intensive planning on the US's part and great courage on the Iraqi's part brought the first free elections to the country in over 50 years. And many proclaimed that this would be the end to all of the problems, that the US had finally triumped over its heathen foes.

To them I say that you are wrong, once again.

Even if the US did manage to establish a secure and stable Iraqi government, the insurgency won't stop just like that. I'm pretty sure that the insurgents are more determined than that. A stable government just gives them a bigger target. Expect even more daily car bombings, rocket attacks, and even some suicide bombers. Not only that, but because of these attacks, US forces may never leave the country. They will be constantly needed to counter the terrorist threat. Leaders of Iraq would be in a dangerous position. And there's always the threat that one day, another dictator will force his way back into power.

And then the US shall face its greatest problem: How do we clean up the huge mess that is Iraq? It faces that problem now, and it will face it in future years to come. This will be a decision that haunts the leaders of the US forever, because unlike Vietnam, there will be no swift resolution.

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