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Should the U.S Re-invade Iraq and Re-capture the City of Mosul?

By Scott Rohter, March 2015

Two Wrongs don't make America Right
They don't make President Obama's Foreign Policy in the Middle East Right either.

It is about time that Americans understand that not every battle in the world is ours to fight.
We are not the world's policeman... Some battles are better left to the principal combatants themselves to fight.

In 2003 the United States invaded Iraq under the pretense of looking for weapons of mass destruction. In the wake of 911 terrorist attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center were still fresh in our minds... but we didn’t find any weapons of mass destruction there or at least we didn’t find many weapons of mass destruction according to who you ask. What we did find though wasn’t worth the cost we suffered in terms of blood and treasure to send an army of 50,000 soldiers over there just in order to depose Saddam Hussein.

After we got rid of Saddam and his Sunni led government then we outlawed his Baathist political party and we handed over what was left of the country to the majority Shiite population who live their. In retrospect that was a big mistake. Under Saddam with the Sunnis in control of the government Iraq was an effective counterbalance to Iran’s growing influence in the region, but we caught Saddam and we turned him over to the Shiites and the Kurds and then we sat by and watched as they tried him and sentenced him to death for crimes against the Iraqi people. We saw him taunted at the gallows and watched as they hung him. Now there is no country left in the Middle East which is strong enough to stop Iran from taking over the entire region. Iran has set up its proxy governments in Syria, Lebanon, and Yemen as well as in Iraq and they provide support for at least two terrorist organizations which daily threaten the little nation of Israel.

Handing over Iraq to the Shiites was tantamount to letting Iran take over the country. That was something had not been able to do in their ten year long war with Saddam Hussein. The second thing we did wrong was to pull all of our troops out of Iraq before the job was finished, i.e. before all of the old scores between Sunnis and Shiites had been settled. Twelve years after we invaded Iraq the Sunnis are still fighting for their rightful representation in a country they once ruled with an iron fist. The Shiite led government of Nouri al Malaki has refused all attempts at reconciliation with them and now the current Iraqi government of Haidar al Abadi will not give the Sunnis any positions in the new Iraqi government.

Under Barack Obama America pulled all of our troops out of Iraq by the beginning of 2012 and we left the Iraqis to their own devices. That didn’t work out very well for members of the Sunni tribes. In our absence they simply reorganized themselves under the leadership of Saddam Hussein’s former military commanders and formed the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria or ISIS. Even though it was wrong to prematurely pull our troops out of Iraq before the job was done it would be even more wrong to step back into the fray now, but Barack Obama has now flip-flopped on this issue and is now committed to sending American troops over there to in order to re-capture the city of Mosul and the northern Iraqi oil fields.

ISIS has been very successful at capturing large chunks of territory in Iraq and Syria. It is hard to blame these Sunni fighters for trying to retake their homeland. In essence we stole their country from them and handed it over to their rivals. The Sunnis just want their country back. What did President Obama think would happen when we pulled all of our soldiers out of Iraq? How can you blame the Sunnis for wanting a country of their own when the Shiites in control of Iraq and Syria refuse to give them the time of day?

I condemn all of the barbaric methods employed by ISIS, but if they tried to attract followers by saying they are just the former members of Saddam Hussein’s old Baath Party they wouldn't get many Muslims from around the world to join their cause. Under the banner of ISIS however and using an Islamic strategy while promising to create a Caliphate they have motivated thousands of Sunni Muslims from across the Muslim world to make their way to Iraq to help them, and they have managed to wrest large chunks of territory away from Iraq and Syria where Sunnis live. So ISIS is trying to unify the Sunni world under their leadership.

After ISIS captured Mosul which is the second largest city in Iraq they gained control of some of Iraq’s most productive oil fields. They began selling oil on the black market. That threatened to destabilize the price of oil which in turn threatened the Saudis. Now the United States has promised to help defeat ISIS, recapture the city of Mosul, and retake those oil fields in order to restore the price of oil to its former highs, but two wrongs don’t make America right and they don’t make Barack Obama's foreign policy in the Middle East right either. We shouldn’t have invaded Iraq the first time to depose Saddam Hussein. We unleashed a Pandora’s Box full of evils that is still circulating around the Middle East ten years later. If we invade Iraq a second time to recapture the city of Mosul we will be committing a bigger mistake than we did the first time by demonstrating to the whole world that we haven’t learned anything in the past ten years. Not every battle in the world is ours to fight. This one is best left to the Muslims of Iraq and Syria to take care of.

The battle against ISIS is not our fight. Whatever they do over there to each other in the name of their god is none of our business. It doesn't matter which side wins over the other because in the end the winner will still be our enemy.

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"The truth, the political truth, and nothing but the political truth.
A journalist has no better friend than the truth."
- Scott Rohter

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