Unfortunately for Iraqi's and so many others including of course, we Americans, Iraq is basically more of a mess today than ever.All the money, lives, combat missions and planning, and Iraq is more than a dysfunctional failed state. After becoming one of two of America's longest wars, it almost seems like it all came to nothing after ten freaking years of involvement. I say this all with the exception of northern Iraq, otherwise known as the home of the Kurdish people. We can look to them as almost the one hope of salvation in this war-torn part of the world. Now that the group known as ISIS or whatever they are known as today (they go through name changes frequently it seems), is fighting and killing anyone who gets in their way in seeking a takeover of Iraq and parts of Syria: we really have no choice but to get involved-again.
The problem with Iraq is, since being under a dictator for so long, they either forgot or never learned how to unify a nation where various factions just don't get along. They can't even defend themselves which is why we're back in a fighting mode.Again, if nothing else, we need to fight and assist the Kurds who are up to the fight of defeating ISIS. This maniacal group of bottom-feeding maggots has now proven themselves to be savage enough to warrant not just a battle to push them back, but a multi-level commitment to vaporizing these killers. I would hope we are just out to kill the killers, and not waste our time taking prisoners, unless it's for the purpose of finding out logistical or other relevant information. There's absolutely no point in trying to rehabilitate such dreadful excuses for human life.
We can argue about the mistake of invading Iraq, or not keeping some level of American troops there once we decided our work was done, but the point is-ISIS formed, is bent on killing whoever gets in their way, including planned attacks on America, and so now they must be destroyed. The United States had better plan for putting boots on the ground, as well as seeking more help by our European allies, and the regional neighbors who are also in the cross-hairs of ISIS. Needless to say, we will have to work with Iraq so that they can at least try and form a viable government, otherwise they need to seek a three way division of their country so some sort of peace can be observed, and people can actually attempt to make a life for themselves.Despite what we see daily on TV and elsewhere, I think it's safe to say, most Iraqi's, Syrians, and others in war-torn areas of the world, just want to live in peace, raise a family and have a chance to earn a decent living. What a simple concept so totally disrupted by a bizarre and seemingly never ending need to exert power and influence.Maybe it was best articulated by that late seeker of peace, Rodney King who asked plaintively: "can't we all just get along"?
One thing seems obvious and that is an air campaign alone ( even with help on the ground by the Kurdish army) may not be enough to destroy ISIS. We cannot worry about entering Syrian territory either. We must rout these terrorists from the hole they came from, and kill as many as possible. I understand President Obama's desire to back away from war, since he took over a country more than tired of fighting not one-but two. Our military is tired as well, and veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan are committing suicide at alarming rates. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder has taken its toll as well. Now, we know it doesn't matter what happened before. We must plan and coordinate a joint effort to take ISIS out of the picture. The trouble with fighting wars in Afghanistan and Iraq is that, unlike Europe, and WWII, we didn't really have to continue fighting in that post war region because of past tribal disputes. We stayed in Europe, and are still there-not to fight so much as help keep the peace from others, and even though the Soviet Union is gone, Vlady Putin keeps making noise like he wants a fight somewhere. Remaining in Iraq almost seems like we would be in the thick of sectarian violence forever. It's seeking peace in a place which now seems destined for constant war that poses a problem for the U.S. when considering a permanent (military) base in or around Baghdad.
The final irony in defeating ISIS is also the obvious prospect of fighting along side President Assad of Syria: another vile dictator we were hoping to help destroy. The old adage of "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" comes to mind. Whatever the alliance, we must focus on the fact that ISIS needs to be destroyed, and the sooner the better. We made an obvious mistake of removing ourselves from the tinderbox of hate and constant war, and then there's the oil. The oil deposits in Iraq are simply too much to ignore. If it wasn't for that prized commodity, we may have had other options, but it's a fact we've been dealing with for much of the past century. Some day hopefully, we can remove ourselves from fighting in foreign lands, but it's a distant dream. The reality is, as the world's premier superpower, we have no choice but to defeat terrorism as much as possible, to guard oil reserves, and to at least try and give people another chance at life if death is the only constant in their lives.It's a tall order, and a grim reality.