Iraq – You Break It, You Own It?

The news these days has been just dominated by speculation over what, if anything, the U.S. should do about the growing “crisis” in Iraq. For those who’ve been living under a rock, the crisis revolves around the murderous advance, through Iraq, of the group known as ISIS (The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria), a fanatical offshoot of Al-Qaeda, whose apparent aim is to create the world’s first terrorism-derived Islamic state across the Sunni areas of Iraq and Syria. This group is so extreme that even the leadership of Al-Qaeda itself has purportedly expressed disapproval of their tactics!

ISIS Actual Sanctuary June 2014

The amazing thing, to me at least, is that many of the “talking heads” on the news are seriously suggesting that getting involved in that mess might actually be in our best interests. Really? Are you fucking kidding me? Even before reading the brilliant Iraq and the Pottery Barn rule post Pied Type did on the subject yesterday, I had already decided that our getting involved was a “lose-lose” proposition for us, but, if I did have any residual fantasies at all about our being able to do some good there, they were completely squashed after seeing the following report on last night’s Rachel Maddow show:

Look, I get that no one likes a bully. Who the hell does? And, being a member of several of the world’s smallest minorities myself, I can certainly appreciate the urge to stop the majority from throwing its monstrous weight around. But when you consider that, in a world where Sunnis make up, by far, the largest percentage of the Muslim population, it just stands to reason that most of what we count as “friends” in the Islamic world are probably Sunni as well. From a Geo-political strategy standpoint, that a fact that simply cannot be ignored.

However, in the scenario currently playing out in Iraq, it’s that Sunni majority that’s actually playing the role of “the bully,” while the Shiite “little guys” we’re being called on to “defend” are represented by Iraq’s “puppet in charge” Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and Syria’s “mass-murdering” President Bashar al-Assad, the very people we’ve been pushing to replace for years. And, to make things even more complicated, the “little guys” are backed by the region’s ultimate bad actor, Iran!

So, while our stupid decision to invade Iraq in 2003 might have broken things a little more than they already were, the fact is that we merely stepped into a “Mesopotamian crap pile” that has existed for far longer than the U.S. has even been around. How anyone can think that wallowing in that pile even more can be in our best interest is simply beyond me. As far as I’m concerned, we’ve already expended far more than it was worth in our attempts to “fix” the Middle East.

If having played a role in helping to “break” things justifies wasting even more of our people’s lives, our treasure, and our prestige on such a hopeless cause, then we all might as well just slit our wrists and get it over with!

I want ice water.

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14 thoughts on “Iraq – You Break It, You Own It?

  1. “Brilliant”? Thanks!

    Doesn’t anyone understand that the more we muck around in the Middle East, the more the extremists there hate us? We’re fueling the terrorists’ hatred of the U.S. It’s so incredibly arrogant of us to try to impose our idea of democracy on nations that have been fighting sectarian, ethnic, and tribal wars for centuries. Those people are more than a little nuts, if you ask me. Maybe it’s because they’re too poor to give a damn about anything else. They’ve nothing to lose. It’s equally crazy to put American lives at risk in that part of the world. IMHO.

    You neglected to mention the Saudis who are funding ISIS. In case things weren’t complicated enough already. Did you see Stephen Colbert’s take on all this last night? The most relevant part starts at about 6:00:


    • “Brilliant” is well deserved I think PT. The few paragraphs in this post took me several hours of writing and rewriting. I suspect that you could’ve probably whipped out as well or better in a much shorter time.

      I had heard about the Saudis funding ISIS PT, but I felt that pointing it out would obligate me to point fingers in other deserving directions as well and I just didn’t feel like chasing them all down. We all know that there are lots and lots of people who deserve at least some share of the blame.

      As crazy as the people over there may seem, they have demonstrated that they have a certain mastery of the art of manipulation. Bin Laden showed it first by nearly tricking us into bankrupting ourselves in almost the same way we tricked the Soviets into spending themselves out of existence. And now, if ISIS suckers us into joining those we’ve declared to be our enemies just to fight them, we’ll give them their victory simply by proving ourselves to be the hypocritical imperialists Al-Qaeda has always said we were.

      Thanks for the link to the Colbert piece. I had not seen it, and it was hilarious! 😀


  2. Frankly, it is time for us to stop trying to shove our concept of Democracy, Capitalism and all the other BS down the throats of every other nation in the world. It is time for us to stop Nation Building. We need to focus on our own nation, nation build the US. We are so damned imperfect we have no business trying to tell others how to run their countries.


    • I couldn’t agree with you more Val. If we want to lead the world, then we need to walk the walk instead of just talking the talk. If our way truly is the best way, then we should prove that it is by successfully implementing it at home! 😀


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