Iraq: Where We’ve Been and Where We’re Going

Written by Rick David on June 30, 2014

We are experiencing a national angst over Iraq. There is a great deal of introspection about what we did and what we should do now. Many are rightly mourning the great loss of American blood for what seems a lost cause at this point. Consequently, people from all political perspectives are questioning the wisdom of the invasion of Iraq. Now, it’s not just Democrats complaining. The “liberty” crowd is vociferous on social media with their non-interventionist rhetoric. It is instructive to me how often the “liberty” people seem to parrot Democrat talking points. I was engaged in a Face Book debate this week with a Ron Paul supporter. The devotion of these “Paulistas” is incredible. They rival Obama worshipers with their total support for everything Ron Paul says, including blaming America for the 9/11 attacks.

With all of this chatter going on, I listened to Rush Limbaugh interview Dick Cheney and his daughter Liz. Cheney did a good job, with help from Rush, of putting the Iraq war in historical perspective. From the perspective of American self interest, the invasion was justified. Democrats and Paulistas have always pounded the “blood for oil” drumbeat. The claim is ridiculous for two reasons. First, The U.S. did not steal any oil, but, in fact, we allowed Iraq to sell it. Secondly, the engine of the entire world economy runs on oil and the U.S. has the right to insure that oil is available to the free market for the entire world. In fact, we are the only nation capable of insuring such.

The free trade of oil to the world was threatened by Saddam Hussein who wanted to use it as blackmail. In fact, it was Saddam who was trying to steal other nation’s oil supplies that precipitated the first Gulf War that America, with the approval of the U.N., won. It was Saddam’s aggression that prompted the Saudis to INVITE us to base our planes in their country (Hello, Ron Paul and Osama Bin Laden!).

It remains somewhat of a mystery today as to why the Bush administration used the pretext of WMD to justify the second Gulf War and invasion of Iraq. There were other more provable justifications. As part of the “peace” agreement from Gulf War I, Iraq was supposed to allow aerial surveillance but Saddam was shooting down and killing our pilots. Saddam’s spies had attempted to assassinate our President. Iraq was committing genocide against his own Kurdish population on a scale much larger than the supposed ethnic cleansing that led us to war in Bosnia.

Perhaps the threat of WMD was more alarming on its surface and such a justification would therefore be an easier sell to Americans and the U.N. Our failure to discover the WMD became a rallying cry for the anti-war people. It is also a mystery that the Bush administration never attempted to defend its claims. Some have speculated that if any WMD were found that it would be an embarrassment since it was most likely American made (We were arming Iraq in its war against Iran in the 80’s). Our intelligence had spotted long trains headed to Syria prior to the invasion. Fast forward to 2014 and, lo and behold, Syria’s Assad regime is using chemical weapons and just last week news came that the ISIS terrorists invading Iraq have uncovered chemical weapons there as well. There is no doubt that Saddam Hussein was a threat to peace in the world and he deserved to die. The surge won the war, in spite of Democrat warnings that it would never succeed.

The occupation of Iraq and subsequent defeat of Al Qaeda there brought temporary stability to the country and afforded the U.S. a base in the region which provided the capability of rapid response to terrorist threats. We had Iran surrounded.

But, consider where we are today. Iraq is overrun by terrorists on one side and Iran on the other. Cheney pointed out in his interview that we face a serious threat of a terrorist state from which attacks could be launched on the U.S. It’s not unlikely that some of those chemical weapons end up on American streets. That certainly is a justification for further U.S. involvement. But, the American people have no appetite for such an endeavor; thanks to the anti-war rhetoric of the Democrats and the deception of the Obama administration that the threat of Islamic terrorism is behind us (Obama and the Republican leadership have convinced too many Americans that the Tea Party is our biggest threat).

The blame for where we are in Iraq today belongs squarely on the shoulders of Barrack Hussein Obama. Obama has exposed us to the greatest risk of terrorist attack that the U.S. has ever known (I’ve written on these pages before how I believe that Obama’s agenda is to deliberately destroy America).

In fact, the Obama regime may have been funneling arms to these ISIS terrorists while they were still in Syria. There is sufficient evidence that Ambassador Stevens was trading arms from Libya to Al Qaeda affiliates in Syria. It is likely that some of those arms ended up with ISIS.

Obama withdrew American forces from Iraq to fulfill a campaign promise. Now that the country is falling to terrorists, he is claiming that we had to leave because the Iraq government would not allow a status of forces agreement (SOFA). This is a lame excuse. A victorious army doesn’t need a SOFA and if we wanted one, all that we had to do is stick a gun to Maliki’s head and say “sign it.” We could have occupied that country forever if the will was there.

In my Face Book debate with the Ron Paul devotee I heard this familiar meme: “We shouldn’t be involved in this old dispute (Sunni vs. Shia). Those people there can’t accept democracy and freedom. We can’t change them.” While this may be true, it naively ignores our own self interest and the very real threat of a terrorist regime in the area.

It also ignores the possibility that we could forcefully occupy Iraq for as long as we desired and in the process enforce and protect our own interests. Perhaps my “friend” (actually, ex-friend now; I’m just sick of the Paul people) has bought into the rhetoric of our political leaders and believes that Islam is a “great religion of peace” and that Al Qaeda is on the run. They’re running alright; right in our back door thru Mexico.

Which brings me to the failure of the occupation and what should have been, or still could be done. The occupation should have continued. We ended up supporting a government destined to collapse shortly after we bailed out. The failure of the occupation was political, not military, and is rooted in our failure to recognize the enemy.

Terror is not an enemy. It is a tactic. In any war, the victor must correctly identify the enemy. Our real enemy is Islam. Perhaps it is the new American secular humanism or maybe just political pandering/ fear that causes our leaders (both Bush and Obama) to mischaracterize Islam as a religion of peace. Islam, according to its own writings, is a theocratic, authoritarian system of control by force. Bin Laden correctly interprets the writings. The “moderate” Muslims are nothing more than modern day religious humanists like so many liberal Christians. And they are too afraid to oppose the “real” Muslims, who number in the millions.

Any hope for a sustaining world peace lies in the conversion of Muslims to Christ. Unfortunately, wherever the new U.S. occupies, whether it is Iraq, Libya or Afghanistan, the persecution of Christians increases. Whether, as was the case with Bush, that we are so politically correct that we cannot allow Christian missionaries to evangelize occupied lands, or that with Obama, we are led by an Islamo-fascist sympathizer, wherever U.S. troops go, Christianity is forbidden. In 2011 Afghanistan, under U.S. occupation, destroyed the last Christian church in the country. In Iraq, Christians are being terrorized into near extinction, with more than half fleeing the country.

We could have occupied Iraq forever and defended Christian missionaries, but according to our President, we are no longer a Christian nation. There are underground Christian house churches being planted in the Middle East. When Muslims become Christians, the hate and the killing will stop.

Image: Courtesy of: Diplomat


Rick David retired from a career in business in 2011. His experience includes service in the USAF, in medical sales and in operations for an educational testing company. He has a passion for and has been actively engaged in conservative issue advocacy and campaigning for over 30 years. He currently resides in North Liberty, Iowa where he also served as a church pastor with his wife of 43 years and travels extensively volunteering in lay ministry.