The news out of Iraq should not be unexpected. The George W. Bush administration filled us with promises of a short war in Iraq. What was it Rumsfeld said – two or three months? We will be greeted as liberators?
Well, here we are 11 years later, with over 4,000 of our troops killed, thousands injured and more than a million Iraqis killed injured or displaced what is happening is just what inevitably happens. A brutal and iron fisted dictator was removed and what inevitably follows is a civil war to replace him with another yet another brutal, iron fisted dictator.
No doubt on what has become the Tea Party talk shows, Republican after Republican will be wringing their hands and blaming Obama for “losing” Iraq. As John Fugelsang notes this is like blaming the guy serving you breakfast for your massive hangover.
Let us remind ourselves that the only reason we are in Iraq is for the oil. Iraq is not a real country in the sense that it is an area of people who have common interests. Iraq is an area whose boundaries were set a hundred years ago for the purpose of British rule. As with many of the colonial leftovers, such boundaries put people together that did not want to be together. In this case Sunni and Shia Muslims with a splash of Christians and Kurds were sewn together in a Frankenstein monster type of a country.
Whatever we do the outcome is almost inevitable, culminating with a dictatorship that will almost certainly be hostile to us. Whether they will cut off their oil sales to us may not be possible, but you can be certain that whoever is in charge they will use their oil as a weapon or a bargaining chip.
Now Pres. Obama will be faced with choices that will range from going back in full tilt to doing nothing. May I suggest another route?
As we all know, oil is the reason we are in this mess and the mess in Afghanistan. Oil has been the driver for our foreign policy for nearly a century now. Pres. Carter has been the only president to seriously say we must get off oil. That was nearly 40 years ago. We all know what happened after that. Carter was defeated, Reagan became president and Oil was back in charge. Keeping their supplies available and their pipelines open has cost us huge amounts or treasury and people.
So I will suggest that part of the response to this new civil war in Iraq should be to declare loudly that we will no longer risk our troops and treasury for oil. It is way past time to rebuild our energy infrastructure with based on renewable sources that know no boundaries. Sun, wind, geothermal, hydro, including ocean tides are possible sources. New batteries or some new storage technology needs to become our next Apollo program. We need to start today.
Of course you have all heard this before. The new civil war in Iraq once more highlights the major vulnerability of the United States. What kind of a wake up and get to work call do we need?