Radical Islamists Seizing Control Of Iraqi Cities, Should America Re-Invade?

Militants and radical islamists are pushing their way forward, city after city, taking control of large areas of Iraq. So of course the question the media is asking: Should the United States get involved (again)? And the simple answer is: No.

It’s an unfortunate situation. No, it’s a dire situation. And yes, we are largely responsible for why this country is so susceptible to this kind of sectarian violence. You won’t find many people who will defend Saddam Hussein, but the reality is this: Iraq was not a hotbed for radical islamists and terrorism when he was president. Hussein did horrible things to his own people, and there’s simply no defending his brutality, but the one thing America did not have to worry about was a breeding ground for terrorism in Iraq. No, that situation only developed after we invaded.

So what is the plan now? We re-invade? And if we do, how long do we stay this time? Eight years wasn’t enough last time, so maybe we should double it this time to sixteen years. War hawks like Senator John McCain think we never should have left, and in fact, he’s gone on record in the past saying we might have to stay there forever. That sounds like a great plan to no one but John McCain. Americans are in no mood for a third war in Iraq, or for any war. Even a Fox News host is incredulous when it comes to the question of re-invading Iraq. “Are we about to be drawn back into a conflict in Iraq?” Shepard Smith asked this week. “The same people who 12 years ago told us this will be quick, this will be easy, this will be inexpensive, they will see us as liberators, it’s the right thing to do, are now telling us, ‘It’s the right thing to do.’ What’s the endgame? Who’s thought this through?”

And it seems the only justification the war hawks like John McCain have to re-invade Iraq is to use a tired refrain. The war hawks tell us we must intervene in Iraq so that American troops who served in the most recent Iraq war will not have suffered or died in vain. I’m sorry, that’s a really bad argument for just about anything, and an even worse justification for war. It’s a bad argument because it assumes that you must continue making the same mistakes in order for previous mistakes to have purpose and meaning. And it’s a bad justification for war because it means going to war in the same country with the same endgame, that is, no endgame. The war hawks believe we must fight because we say we must fight, and then when we fight, and inevitably when people die, we must continue to fight in their honor. This is delusional. This is madness. But this is the mindset of war hawks like John McCain. Fortunately, much of America has shed this mindset, at least for now.

John mccain

/ photo by Reuters / Mike Segar

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