Readers Write: Unintended consequences of going to war

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Over the last hundred years the USA has dealt with radical Islamist, communist and dictatorship governments.  

When involved with them our sincere  intentions were (are) to promote good relations and hopefully promote democracy. Let us look at some results.

Viet Nam. We attempted for seven years to prop up a corrupt Vietnamese government because we feared a take over by the communists. We were faced with a dilemma. A corrupt dictator or the communists   

We were afraid that if the communists took over it would result in  a domino effect.  That is it was feared that much of the world would go communist were we to lose.  

Well what happened after billions of dollars and many thousands of killed and wounded?  

Really not very much. No victory and no domino effect, and of course, no democracy either. Did we learn anything? 

Next we supplied military equipment  to a dictator named Saddam  Hussein  to help him with a war Saddam initiated with Iran. It is no wonder the Iranians still hate us. 

They lost half a million men in that war which ended in a stalemate.  Among other atrocities Saddam used poisonous gas against his own Kurdish minority. Iraq was our ally, right? Some ally. 

Many years later he invaded Kuwait a small country on Iraq’s southern border. Saddam must have assumed that being an ally of the USA we Americans would not intervene.  

For once we acted properly. Under a UN mandate we (Bush senior) drove the Iraqis out of Kuwait.  

Why didn’t we go on to Bagdad? 

Because the UN mandate called for kicking them out of Kuwait, no more.   

But there was another important reason we did not go on to Bagdad. Our then president George Bush. Senior said it would result in a quagmire. How prophetic.  

Later George Bush junior decided with no real evidence that Saddam Hussein had nuclear weapons so he rushed right in to Bagdad and proclaimed “mission accomplished.”   

He ignored his father’s admonition (in Bush senior’s  book) that it would result in a quagmire if one would go on  to Bagdad. 

We immediately dug ourselves a massive hole by letting Iraqi rabble loot and destroy businesses for three entire months before we put a stop to it. Another serious misstep was when we were on the road to Bagdad our military roared past Iraqi ammunition dumps leaving them unguarded. 

Where do you think the insurgents got munitions for roadside bomb devices for which our boys have paid a fearful price? 

When it was clear to everyone that Saddam did not have nuclear weapons Bush changed his goal to “establishing a democracy” Some democracy

Afghanistan.  Another huge investment in blood and treasure with absolutely nothing to show for it. Enough said.

Libya also had a brutal dictator named Muammar Gaddafi. 

We and a few allies assisted them in their Arab Spring  Revolution mainly with air strikes.  

Now it seems we are back to square one.  

Constant chaos with a good chance that fundamental Islamist will take over.  Our new dictator friend next door, General Sisi, in Egypt thinks this might happen so Egypt is already providing some aid to forestall the islamists. 

But how many warring tribes should we send supplies to? 

After all they wage war among themselves, Who should we side with? And if we “win” will we end up with another democracy like Iraq?

Egypt is still another case of we don’t know what in hell to do. 

President Mubarak was our long time dictator friend in Egypt to whom we supplied significant military aid.  

But then there was the Arab Spring Uprising resulting in a democratic vote for the presidency of Egypt. 

So we abandoned the dictator president and threw our support to the new democracy.  Son of a bitch if the people didn’t vote in a Moslem Brotherhood president. 

Later when there was a military take over by General Sisi we found ourselves back to square one.  Seems like we can’t get rid of dictators much less establish democracies. 

Now Syria. Also governed by a dictator president, Assad, so when their  Arab Spring Uprising occurred we stated  that ”President Assad must go.”  

We were all for the rebels, until, damn it, the most powerful rebels turned out to be the especially brutal Islamist ISIS group.   

We are in a quandary once again. Our air strikes are designed to weaken ISIS and in doing so inadvertently assisting Assad.  How ironic.

Even in Somalia we jumped in hoping to create an atmosphere whereby democracy might take root.  It didn’t take long after the brutal killing of one our soldiers that we pulled out. But without a democracy there either.

Here then  are seven nations in which we have intervened. What do we have to show for all the blood and treasure we have expended? There is no evidence whatsoever that any of these ventures has prevented attacks on us. In fact it could be argued that we have, by these senseless military  ventures  turned many of these populations further against us. 

Perhaps we should sit the next one out

Theodore Theodorsen

Manhasset

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