Iraq, the story that never goes away–still waiting for the right answers

So there has been a lot of Iraq news lately.  Taking out a high ISIS target countered with the loss of Ramadi.  Jeb Bush flubbing the question would he have gone into Iraq every way possible, Marco Rubio clearly not falling for the same gotcha question(liberals are lying that Rubio flubbed it, but follow the link and watch for yourself, you’ll see he didn’t fall for the trap)…and National Review coming out with an article on Saddam’s WMD which includes…

Hussein had some 5,000 tank shells filled with sarin nerve gas, mustard gas, and other lethal agents.

and

the Pentagon removed 1.77 metric tons of low-enriched uranium from Iraq

and

550 metric tons (yes, five hundred and fifty metric tons) of yellowcake uranium that the U.S. boxed up and shipped from Iraq

and of course

It is outrageous that the Pentagon and, apparently, Bush’s political team concealed proof that America’s chief casus belli actually existed. Instead, the howling hyenas of the Left were allowed to gnaw away at Bush’s political corpse.

Keep in mind this not just National Review.  CNN confirmed the 550 tones of yellow cake years ago and just this last year the New York Times confirmed the chemical weapons.

Now I get why a candidate probably wouldn’t want to take the time to explain why the meme of “there were no WMD’s” is wrong; you’d waste all your time convincing people of the truth and never get to the points you’d want to make about how you’re going to do a better job than Obama, or Bush, or Clinton or Bush (you know the relevant part)…but that doesn’t forgive a politician bringing up the lie on their own (Jeb, I’m looking at you).

But even with all of this it doesn’t exactly get rid of the question, “Would you have gone into Iraq?”  Not that this is the right question.  No, the right question is “Would you have gone into Iraq, why or why not?  If so would you have gone at a different time?  Once there what would you have done the same as W. (and later Obama) and what would you have done differently?”

Now I’m going to give what the correct answers for this should be.  I am under no delusion that a politician will say these even if they believe them because it is simply not realpolitik…but unlike liberals and populists I will also not try to read between the lines and say “well he didn’t say that but I know what he really meant.”  None of that.  I am just going to give credit to those who are closest to this reality.

So here we go,
“Would you have gone into Iraq, why or why not? “

Correct Answer:  Yes.  Not because Saddam had WMD, but because he had a history of using them, a history of trying to acquire them, a history of supporting terrorist groups (including but not limited to Al Qaeda), and was a tyrant.  He was a force for destabilization in the region and had to go.  Further if you’re going to deal with the real problem in the region, Iran, you need to be in a position to deal with them, and that includes controlling or being allied with most of the countries bordering Iran (Iraq and Afghanistan being two of the key ones). Thus establishing a permanent military presence in Iraq and Afghanistan is a necessity for ensuring long term global stability and peace.
The biggest part here is that he is a tyrant.  Tyrants need to go.  Tyranny is a cancer that never is satisfied with what it has and ALWAYS WITHOUT EXCEPTION attempts to spread. Which leaves only two options: deal with it when it’s small or deal with it when it’s big, nasty, and actually attacking you (the libertarian/isolationist view)…obviously the latter is the way of the self-deluded and ignorant.

If so would you have gone at a different time?
Correct Answer:  Assuming we had initially done what we should have done in Afghanistan but didn’t do, that is, secure the border with both Iran and Pakistan, burned every poppy field to the ground (and shot any warlord who objected), were well on our way to rebuilding the roads, hospitals, power plants and schools of the Westernizing Afghanistan that existed before the Soviet invasion—oh and can someone please explain to me why the entire Peace Corp was not recalled, trained in the languages of Afghanistan, and sent there en masse as that kind of beaten down tortured population is the kind of thing the Peace Corp was created to help?—then yes the time table for Iraq would have been fine.  If it took a little while longer to get Afghanistan under control (which could have been done had someone with a brain and a plan been involved, clearly not W.) then we should have waited.

The only difference in the actual invasion is that we should have made sure that the Syrian border was monitored and no one was able to go from Iraq to Syria (am I the only one bothered by the fact that we never heard about a Syrian weapons program but Assad magically has chemical weapons right after his buddy Saddam goes down?)

Once there, what would you have done the same as W. (and later Obama) and what would you have done differently?
Correct Answer:
The things that should have been done differently are so numerous it isn’t even funny.  First, unlike Bush, we should have actually embraced the Neocon idea of nation building—that would mean we would not have planned to turn the country back over to Iraq until they were ready, had an infrastructure that allowed for self governance, and the stability that would not allow them to fall back immediately.

So let’s run down all the things that should have been done differently.
•    We should not have just released the Iraqi military after the Bathist government fell.  These people should have been kept in custody for months if not years as they were each personally and rigorously vetted to make sure they were not going to join the first terrorist cabal they could find.
•    We should have realized that we should not try to keep people together who don’t want to be together. The borders of IraqIraq are so arbitrary and haphazard I just can’t imagine what the hell was going through the mind of British politicians after WWI when they broke up the region. Iraq should be at least three nations: Kurdistan in the north; what is traditionally called the Sunni Triangle, we could give it the name Babylon; and a Shia nation in the south let’s still call it Iraq. If you want it might be a good idea to have a 4th nation, let’s call it Mesopotamia, for all the areas in there that aren’t majority, Shia, Sunni, or Kurd.  Now some would say that creating Kurdistan would have angered Iran and Turkey (and a few others). Is this really an argument? As if those nations love us so much. Who cares about them? Kurdistan would actually provide a large buffer state (with some mild loyalty to the US) in between a lot of other nations. The goal should be to create nations that can be self-sufficient and seek to actually keep themselves together, not just to keep the maps the same. Breaking Iraq in to 3 or 4 nations would have made each nation more stable, less likely to breed internal strife and hatred and with each nation first and foremost seeking to keep its own autonomy rather than looking for outside help to swing control away from parts of the nation they didn’t agree with.  We should all remember that before we were a nation we were 13 states, and those states only came together under a single constitution when they saw it was in their own best interest. Forcing different nations together into one government doesn’t work unless they want to join together (notice the failure of the EU—it should have made Europe stronger as a whole, but their inept behavior and the arm-twisting methods of trying to force their rule on Europe is just backfiring).

israel-wall

This is what Israel has to protect itself from people who want to destroy it. This is what Iraq should have had (and honestly it’s what should be on our Southern border).

•    Building walls. I think we have learned the hard way in this country that you need walls on a border. When it comes to nations good fences make for good neighbors. If we put up a wall between the U.S. and Mexico, just watch how fast Mexico would get their act together as they would no longer have a release valve for all their disgruntled citizens. And it is even more so the case in Iraq.  If we had built walls—and I do mean walls, not fences, something big enough to stop both people and large military movements—between Iraq and all its neighbors (especially Iran and Syria) we first off would not have been dealing with years of Iran sending terrorists across the border to destabilize the nation. And had we built a real wall at the Syrian border we would not have seen ISIS move in to Iraq so easily. Even more so if we had broken the nation up and built walls between the other nations.
•    We learned from the aftermath of WWI that you can’t just leave a nation after you defeat them, you have to rebuild them (Obama being functionally retarded seems to have never learned this). And from our successes post-WWII we learned that this is not a quick fix project. It takes time to rebuild a nation. I have said this numerous times on this blog, but it bears repeating. You can’t have a nation under the rule of tyranny for decades; then have a war to remove that tyranny and then just expect everything to be all well and good within a year. It takes time. It takes time to rebuild infrastructure. Roads. Water systems. Electricity. Communications. Hospitals and schools.   Court systems and police. And it takes years of supervision to make sure they know what they’re doing and to instill into a people the traditions of a democratic republic. You can’t just hand it off in a year. It just doesn’t magically appear…and to think that is crazy. And to all the racists out there who like to say well Arabs aren’t fit for democracy (usually they use the phrase “that part of the world” but it’s the same racism). Bullshit. Anyone who says that conveniently forgets that with generations of experience with democratic institutions it took over a decade of failure and near constant threat of failure and revolt before we got a Constitution and government that actually worked. It was a complete mess between the signing of the Declaration and the ratification of the Constitution…I know everyone forgets this little point, but it can’t be forgotten. We also didn’t have a clue as to what we were doing at first. It takes time, and between Bush and Obama rushing out with over eagerness and turning the place over to the Iraqi’s (and Afghani’s) far to quickly, it is no shock it was a cluster. And that is entirely unforgivable for both of them.
•    We should have left permanent military installations in all of the countries.  More than that, along with Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Afghanistan, and Jordan we should have created the Middle Eastern version of NATO.  A force that could have stood against Iran, that could have resolved Syria before it became a problem, that could have entered Libya at the first sign of revolt help take Qaddafi dow without as much bloodshed, that could have aided in the Arab Spring without letting it devolve into a terrorist recruitment, that could have stood against letting the Muslim Brotherhood even take temporary control of Egypt…and most importantly that could have given the Green Movement in Iran the backing it needed in 2009 to take out the Revolutionary government, stick the Ayatollah’s head on the pike it deserves to be displayed on and return Persia to the modern world. But all of that would have required a semblance of long term thinking (something Bush, Clinton, Bush, Obama…and now Bush, Clinton, and Paul completely lack).

That’s what I would want to hear.  I know I’m not going to hear exactly that, but the candidate closest to it get the points.

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