Two topics for the price of one. Keep reading, you'll see what I mean.
So, the new Iraqi government got started with a bang yesterday, finding and executing Momar Ghadafi.
All those surprised, raise your hands.
* crickets *
With protesters gearing up in Syria, this is going to get a lot worse before it gets better.
Obama yesterday announced the end of the Iraq war. Well, the end of US involvement in it, anyway. Fighting will continue in that region for centuries.
Oh, don't get me wrong. I'm applauding Obama bringing the troops home. After all my dumping on him, it's a nice change of pace to finally cheer him for something. However, my reasons for applauding this have nothing to do with the reasons cited. The common explanation is we've had thousands of troops killed, thousands injured, and billions of dollars go down the drain since we first invaded Iraq (which I supported at the time and still do. Not saying anything, just being honest about my feelings instead of trying to downplay them and let readers project whichever opinion makes me look good), so let's bring them home. News analysis says that it's because the Iraqi government is not allowing a part of the agreement that keeps troops there to stand. The last deal in 2008 exempted US troops from Iraqi law. The Iraqi government wasn't willing to keep that part in the new deal, and Obama said, "Fuck y'all."
My reason for pulling troops out is simple -- we're pissing on a towering inferno. The Middle East region is known primarily for fighting and discord. Wars that started before recorded history are still affecting regionalistic emotions. I sometimes wonder if all the hatred has become genetic memory. When we first invaded Iraq, I prayed that Shrub would keep things stable. Otherwise, the people would take advantage of the lack of power structure to start repaying blood debts from generations before.
Guess what happened? The Iraqi government has been embroiled in squabbling and racism and religious discrimination and other behaviors that make America look like a friggin' Utopia. They continued to blow deadlines to establish a new constitution. And they continued to let American troops do the heavy lifting. In short, the Iraqis did nothing to establish their own autonomy, they were too busy fighting amongst themselves. And so, I took a "Catcher In The Rye" perspective and said, let them fight. We're getting killed so they can act like idiots. A guy at work said, "But that will destabilize the region!" Duh! The region is already destabilized!
And now, here it is with Libya. I applaud Obama for keeping casualties to a minimum. Thank you for keeping our troops safe instead of just acting like they're a resource to maneuver around a giant Risk board. But by killing Ghadafi outright instead of letting him stand trial (which Obama and his administration didn't exactly poo-poo), we have a preview of what is going to happen.
Blood debts will be repaid in blood. The Libyans are more interested in being in charge.
I hope I'm wrong. It's too early to tell. Maybe this group will have it more together and will actually do what is right by the citizens and by humanity. But all I can think about is Evey Hammond -- "Every time I've seen this world change, it's always been for the worse."
Time will tell. It always does.