Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Iraq Now

Obviously, Iraq has been and will continue to be the big issue for the remainder of the Bush presidency. I supported the invasion (for what my support is worth). I also think the Bush Administration has completely mishandled everything from the day US troops entered Baghdad. Why is it that 4 years after the invasion Iraq still has a barely functioning government and hardly an army? Why is it that it took this long to pass the oil law? President Bush during the 2004 debate stated that "as Iraqis step up we step down" so why 3 years later are more US troops being sent in?

Why has it taken so long to change tactics?

Some say Hussein was not a threat to the US, but considering the importance of oil to the world economy, he was. I also feel that Bush was essentially saying the same thing the Clinton Administration was saying about Hussein and about his supposed WMD program.

But the WMD program was not really the reason I supported the invasion. One reason was that bin Laden was driven crazy by the presence of US troops in Saudi Arabia. These troops were there to protect the Saudi oil fields from Iraq. With Hussein gone, the US troops could leave, and that point of contention would disappear or at least be reduced (for fanatics like bin Laden of course, though, he would just find something new to complain about).

The second reason was to right a wrong that began with the post-World War I settlement in the region. The Kurds were promised their own state after World War I, but the resurgence of Turkey under Mustafa Kemal ended that dream. Gertrude Bell also feared that an independent Kurdistan would be landlocked and would economically weaken the new Iraqi state, so what is now Iraqi Kurdistan (and its oil fields) were included in Iraq. If Michael Totten is to be believed, the Kurds are trying to build a society while Baghdad and the rest of Iraq burns.

So much has gone wrong, but at least for the Kurds it has gone right.

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