Job losses, home losses, stock market losses, retirement losses, health care losses and the loss of a general sense of security are prevalent across America. But while the economic crisis and its painful results may have the attention of the public, the war in Iraq should not and must not be forgotten.
A war fueled by lies, a desire to remake the Middle East and protect Israel has cost the country precious resources and much of the respect enjoyed around the world. American military personnel have died and Iraqis have perished. Six years is enough. It is enough time for America to admit the Bush administration’s adventure was a major blunder and it is time to end the fiasco, save lives, save precious tax dollars and repent for a war that should have never been fought.
Prior to the U.S. invasion of Iraq and during the pursuit of an ill-conceived American military and political mission, the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan offered guidance to avoid and resolve this crisis. In letters to former President George W. Bush and in his recent Saviours’ Day address, Min. Farrakhan has warned that America should not use military might in an unjust manner. The Minister has advised the world’s only superpower to be careful how she acts in the world–reflecting the biblical injunction to do justice and walk humbly.
Min. Farrakhan has also warned America cannot win another war. The Minister has also explained that America sits in a precarious place and like her predecessor empires, notably Babylon, is under the judgment of God Himself. “Ancient Babylon was a city that caused all who traded with her to wax strong, but, at a certain point, the neighboring nations turned against Babylon and she was destroyed and left as a sign. The Book of Revelation speaks of a mystery Babylon that ancient Babylon was a sign of. The Honorable Elijah Muhammad, my teacher and guide, said that America is the fulfillment of that mystery Babylon,” wrote Min. Farrakhan in a letter to President Bush in October 2002.
The election of President Barack Obama has inspired a remarkable level of hope around the world. But for that hope to become a reality, U.S. policy must reflect the change that the world hungers for. Min. Farrakhan’s divine warnings to the previous administration should be studied by the new team in the White House. His wisdom and guidance could help America extricate herself from the trap of war in Iraq, Afghanistan and avert potential war with Iran.
President Obama’s plan to end the war expects to have most U.S. troops out of Iraq by August 2010. A force of 35,000 to 50,000 troops would stay to help Iraqi forces, protect Americans and combat terrorism. All U.S. troops would be out of the country by the end 2011. An immediate withdrawal would be best.
“Six years later, as many as one million Iraqis have been killed under this occupation, and another five million have lost their homes, according to credible estimates. More than 4,000 U.S. troops have been killed, and other hundreds of thousands have come back with physical and mental injuries,” noted the anti-war American Friends Service Committee, in an assessment of the Iraq debacle. “We believe that the occupation of Iraq has been counter-productive and wrong. It has harmed both the U.S. and Iraqi people, and it has made our world more violent and unsafe.
“The complete withdrawal of troops is an important first step to improving the lives of all Iraqis. Next steps for the U.S. should include continued and creative international diplomacy and substantial long-term funding for humanitarian relief and Iraqi-led reconstruction efforts. These steps strengthen the prospects for national reconciliation and reconstruction by fulfilling Iraqis’ needs and hopes. Even after U.S. and Coalition forces leave the country, the U.S. has a continuing moral responsibility to all Iraqis,” the group said.
The alternative to exiting quickly and trying to help rebuild Iraq is harrowing–though few seem to want to admit it.
“President George W. Bush’s decision to invade Iraq in 2003 ultimately may come to be seen as one of the most profligate actions in the history of American foreign policy,” warns Thomas Ricks, author of “Fiasco,” a book that traces the failures of the U.S. war in Iraq. Mr. Ricks is a writer for the Washington Post and his 2006 book has been widely recognized as well-sourced and researched. Mr. Ricks, who covers the Pentagon, has warned that the worst is yet to come. “The consequences of his choice won’t be clear for decades, but it already is abundantly apparent in mid-2006 that the U.S. government went to war in Iraq with scant solid international support and on the basis of incorrect information–about weapons of mass destruction and a supposed nexus between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda’s terrorism–and then occupied the country negligently. Thousands of U.S. troops and an untold number of Iraqis have died. Hundreds of billions of dollars have been spent, many of them squandered. Democracy may yet come to Iraq and the region, but so too may civil war or a regional conflagration, which in turn could lead to spiraling oil prices and a global economic shock,” notes a portion of the book quoted in a New York Times review.
According to Mr. Ricks, a Pulitzer Prize winning writer, all of the talk about the success of “the surge,” or intensified U.S. military action in Iraq, isn’t real talk. His latest book, “The Gamble,” warns the war isn’t nearly over. “I think we may just be half way through this war,” Mr. Ricks told National Public Radio. “I know President Obama thinks he’s going to get all troops out by 2011–I don’t know anybody in Baghdad who thinks that’s going to happen. I think Iraq is going to change Obama more than Obama changes Iraq.”
“The point is as long as you have American troops in Iraq, no matter what you call them, they are going to be fighting and dying,” Mr. Ricks observed. “The surge worked tactically–it improved security enormously. But it didn’t succeed strategically, politically. And that was its larger goal.”
He believes Iraq is likely to face violence and fracture, likely to be an enemy of the United States and an ally of Iran ruled by a Saddam Hussein-like strongman–in the best case scenario. The worst case scenario could be a civil war and genocide against the Sunni population. So much for U.S. democracy, liberating the Iraqi people and former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld’s delusional prediction that U.S. forces would be welcomed as liberators.
Mr. Ricks states the Iraq war “was the biggest mistake in the history of American foreign policy.”
“We don’t yet understand how big a mistake this is,” he adds. “Everything that flows from it is the fruit of the poison tree.”