This is going to be one of my soapbox posts so be warned.
Iraq is back in the news now with the latest insurgence. It seems the Shiite Muslims just don’t want to go down without a fight and the Sunni Muslims who now have most of the power don’t want to give their rivals any breathing room. Civil war is the logical conclusion where one religious group is battling another. History has certainly seen a lot of these type of wars.
Let’s flash back to the year 2000 when Saddam Hussein had iron fist control of the country. There was relative peace at least if you were a Shiite and for the most part Sunni. The dictator did now allow the drug trade or Al Qaeda into the country that his enemy often Afghanistan promoted. There was a general peace among the populace and IEDs were unheard of. Yes, it appears to be true that Hussein did kill about 3,000 of his citizens over some perceived control things. He insisted that he have ALL the power in the country and for the most part he did.
Then comes 2003 when President Bush decided that the leader of Iraq was developing nuclear weapons and was responsible for much of the current Al Qaeda movement. It turns out that both of these things were grossly false but we invaded anyway. As a consequence over 150,000 Iraqi citizens have been killed and many more maimed. Now that we have left, a religious civil war is in the process. By any standards we have made life much more miserable for the vast majority of people of that country.
Another devastating fact of that war is that we have lost about 4,500 of our kids and seriously maimed another 32,000. No, it was not as lethal as Vietnam which was the war of my generation but still too many kids’ lives were extinguished in a totally unnecessary manner. A famous saying that I will paraphrase is that we wonder why when we continue to do the same thing over and over again we don’t get a different result. Why can’t the leaders of one generation learn from those who went before them?
It is likely that no matter how many years we continue to throw our kids lives and our wealth into that country the final result will be the same. Sectarian violence will rule out and Iraq will likely split into two or more religious theocracies. In the end it comes down to which version of God you want to follow. I don’t think that is what God intended us to do when he created the universe…. Shame on us for allowing it to happen….