Justin King | The Anti-Media
Imagine your nation just overthrew a brutal dictator, and now your nation finds itself locked in bitter disagreement over how the government should be run. The nation received help from the world powers in overthrowing that dictator and now some are attempting to exert undue influence. Your country faces insurrections. Some are saying that the whole system of government should be scrapped.
If the United States still taught history effectively, you would know that this isn’t necessarily the history of Iraq. This is the history of the United States. The United States was founded under the Articles of Confederation in 1776. It wasn’t until after Shay’s Rebellion and eleven long years of struggle that the US adopted the Constitution that Americans know today. That document, signed in 1787, changed the entire makeup of the US government. Even then, the seeds of rebellion against the new federal government had already been planted and they grew into the Whiskey Rebellion just a few years later.
The insurgency in Iraq is part of the normal growing pains of a nation. While there are some religious aspects to the insurgency, especially in regards to certain fighters, many simply oppose the current government because it does not represent them and is seen as a puppet of the West. Many fighters joined the insurgency because family members died during the decade-long US occupation of Iraq, and they blame the US and the current Iraqi government for those deaths. Image credit: pbs.org
As American politicians bang the drums of war yet again in hopes of intervening in not just Iraq, but Syria as well, they ask the American people to “support the troops.” They are attempting to rally the American people behind a slogan that means nothing. What they are really saying is “Oppose our policies, and you will be seen as betraying our men and women in uniform.” Nothing could be further from the truth. This war is an internal fight over how a sovereign nation should be governed, a fight that will be prolonged if US intervention confirms to the insurgents and the Iraqi people that the Iraqi government is little more than a puppet. As US soldiers inevitably kill or injure civilians during the new intervention, their surviving family members will fight against the US and bolster the insurgency. Supporting the troops in this case, is keeping them out of harm’s way.
President Obama did nothing to quell the idea that Iraq is a puppet state when he demanded the government do his bidding before promising US help.
The next rally cry of the politician is to say that we have to “fix our mistake.” First, insurgency is an extremely common occurrence after the birth of a new nation. Second, the mistake will not be fixed by repeating the same behavior. If the United States and the world were interested in ending the fighting, Iraq would have been split into several countries based on ethnic lines. The prospect of dividing a nation is always met with resistance because people tightly cling to the imaginary lines on the ground that make up a nation’s borders, but historically, dividing a nation has proved to be an effective way to end ethnic strife. The war in the Balkans in the 1990s demonstrated that dividing a nation and enforcing the new borders could bring about peace in an area where genocide and ethnic cleansing is occurring.
Dividing Iraq doesn’t appeal to the powers in Washington, DC because the government has already worked out deals with the current government of Iraq, and it wants those deals honored. So, rather than do what is best for the Iraqi people and the American soldier, the government will send America’s sons and daughters back into the fray to protect American business interests.
If you want to support the troops, the time is now. If you don’t want more soldiers dying needlessly, the time is now. Once the shooting starts, the yellow ribbons that will adorn cars like sports team bumper stickers will effectively stop any dissent in this country and it will be too late.
Justin King’s article appears courtesy of The Anti Media.