Ricochet is the best place on the internet to discuss the issues of the day, either through commenting on posts or writing your own for our active and dynamic community in a fully moderated environment. In addition, the Ricochet Audio Network offers over 50 original podcasts with new episodes released every day.
Following the apparent capture of Mosul, rumor has it that the Iraqi government is quietly asking for American air support against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. Rumor further has it that President Obama has denied this request.
I don’t know what we should do about Iraq’s apparent slide into al-Qaeda-dominated anarchy (I lean toward doing nothing, but am open to persuasion). In their different ways, all the options seem terrible, be they leaving the Iraqis to their fate or re-involving ourselves in their country. There’s likely no good solution, only a series of bad ones, some of which may be marginally less awful than others.
One point, though, warrants repeating: while America and its allies bear ultimate responsibility for the decision to leave Iraq, it’s not as if we did so under protest. For all the talk of American imperialism and British and Australian toadying, we left as promised — more or less on schedule — leaving the Iraqis free to make their own way in the world. What dissenting voices there were at the time were drowned out by sighs of relief.
Well, the world wanted us out and — albeit for our own reasons — we left. Now, the world is seeing the consequences.
Regardless of what the United States and its allies do (or don’t do) in response to the current crisis, all nations should learn from their previous experience in this matter. If we determine it is in our interest to join the fight, we should demand public and explicit entreaties from the Iraqis as the cost of doing business; no accusations of imperialist cowboys this time. If we determine it’s not in our interests, we should say so with regret for leaving for political expediency, while reminding the world that this is what they wanted and that they might recall it next time.