Politics 2014: Iraq

Iraq is falling apart right before our eyes. Almost everyone in Washington has an opinion about what we should do. Most of those giving their opinions on what we as a country should do in Iraq are letting politics play a big role in their opinions.

So Iraq is also going to be a great political tool to use to win elections in November – and probably for the races of 2016. I bet most political consultants did not have Iraq on the radar for the summer of 2014.

People like South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham are already saying if we don’t do something to stop the group called Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) it could lead to another 9/11.  Graham is being bold mostly because he just won a primary election and has little competition in November.

Then there’s Iran – some folks believe we should work with them to help Iraq. We may not have a choice.

After all that money we spent training Iraq’s military, many are quitting. The Guardian had this story:

Since Thursday at least three divisions of the Iraqi army – close to 50,000 men – and other smaller units scattered around the northern countryside have refused to fight, shedding their uniforms, selling their service weapons and buying dishdashas (robes) to blend in with civilians as they fled.

Can you imagine 50,000 members of our military quitting? Me neither. Our military does not quit.

Americans may be inclined to support limited action in Iraq. Rasmussen Reports conducted a recent poll and found that “46% of Likely U.S. Voters favor the United States making military airstrikes in Iraq to help its government fight the al Qaeda-led insurgency. Thirty-two percent (32%) oppose such action. Twenty-two percent (22%) are not sure.”

Last year a Gallup poll found that 53% of Americans say the Iraq war was a mistake.

Ironically, way back in 2006 then U.S. Sen. Joe Biden presented a five-part plan that might be the best way to handle the situation in Iraq today.

Biden’s plan included establishing “three largely autonomous regions with a viable central government in Baghdad. The Kurdish, Sunni and Shiite regions would each be responsible for their own domestic laws, administration and internal security.”

Back in May of 2007, I wrote about the Biden plan saying that we are should give the surge plan a chance to work, and if we have not made progress, then one pretty great idea is the one by U.S. Sen. Joe Biden D-Del. It basically federalizes the country and gives Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds a way to share power peacefully.

Now people are starting to ask, “Was Joe Biden Right?”

If a “Biden plan” or a variation of his plan keeps us from losing another American life in Iraq, then it’s worth pursuing. As I have said before, Americans have grown weary of wars. We are having problems taking care of those who were injured in these wars.

The bottom line is that we need to think long and hard before we get too involved in Iraq.


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