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Thursday, Oct. 23, 2014

In our opinion: Intervention in Iraq

Deseret News editorial

Published: Thu, Aug. 14 12:00 a.m. MDT

 There is no value in rearguing the merits of America’s involvement in Iraq, which seems to be the focus of many of the critics. We can’t change what happened then, and what’s happening now is a staggering humanitarian and geopolitical crisis brewing in that region.

There is no value in rearguing the merits of America’s involvement in Iraq, which seems to be the focus of many of the critics. We can’t change what happened then, and what’s happening now is a staggering humanitarian and geopolitical crisis brewing in that region.

(Maya Alleruzzo, AP)

The Yazidis are a distinct minority in Iraq, with only 500,000 adherents and no converts — one has to be born into the religion in order to belong to it. The Islamic State, the terrorist group that is now sweeping across Iraq, call the Yazidis “devil worshippers” and have specifically targeted them for slaughter. This has compelled Yazidi families to seek refuge in the Sinjar mountains in the north of the country.

Vian Dakhil is the only member of the Iraqi parliament who belongs to the Yazidi religious group. Last week, she told her government “30,000 families have been besieged in the Sinjar mountains, with no water and no food. Seventy children have already died of thirst and elderly people have also died. Women are being slaughtered, our entire religion is being wiped off the face of the Earth. I am begging you, in the name of humanity.”

Vian Dakhil’s pleas have attracted the attention of the Vatican, which has called for “concrete humanitarian assistance” and “political and even effective military protection” for religious minorities. The Vatican condemned both the 2003 Iraq War and the 1991 Gulf War. Their unprecedented support for military action ought to call attention to the unique nature of this crisis and the need to intervene.

But Dakhil’s words have fallen on deaf ears among many in the United States.

On August 9, the Los Angeles Times ran an editorial titled “Why are we back in Iraq?” The article argued the president had no business launching even a limited military strike in Iraq, no matter how “[d]istressing and tragic as recent event in Iraq may be.” Their opinion can be found in a number of other quarters, many of whom lament that the United States ever got involved in Iraq in the first place. Indeed, the president’s actions are drawing criticism from both the left and the right. Many conservatives argue that none of this would have been necessary had the president not been so eager to pull all troops out of Iraq without leaving any behind to support the fledgling government.

That may well be true, but, at this point, it’s also irrelevant.

There is no value in rearguing the merits of America’s involvement in the Iraq War, which seems to be the focus of many of the critics. We can’t change what happened then, and what’s happening now is a staggering humanitarian and geopolitical crisis brewing in that region. The Yazidis and other minorities will be wiped out if no one is willing to help them. America can’t just turn a blind eye to that.

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1. marxist
Salt Lake City, UT,
Aug. 14, 2014

"There is no value in rearguing the merits of America’s involvement in the Iraq War, which seems to be the focus of many of the critics."

I disagree. In examining what we did when we invaded Iraq we understand how hopeless our intervention is now. We toppled the only secular government in the region - Hussein's, who was a strongman who could hold Iraq together and keep the various degenerate brands of Islam at bay. Like Tito in Yugoslavia once Saddam was gone the place become ungovernable.

Perhaps a rescue operation of some sort for this sect is possible. But as far as fixing Iraq, it can't be done.

2. happy2bhere
clearfield, UT,
Aug. 14, 2014

What we have learned from the Middle East wars is this. Sometimes you can get in, get the job done, and get out. The first gulf war. Or you can get in, and be stuck trying to win and get out. Iran and Afghanistan. Or you can not get in at all and wait to see the consequences. Left wing isolationism. I used to believe THAT was the way to go. But, in the most dangerous world ever, what with NBC warfare and suicide terrorism, we are in danger of allowing the worst forces in the world to get enormous wealth and power. If they do, ultimately they will come after us. They did it on 911, and only a fool would believe they don't want to do it again. So, we have no option but engage the enemy now, or put our head in the sand and wait for the next attack. Two bad choices, but there is not a realistic third one. I myself don't think the sand is safe enough. I did a few months ago, but not now.

3. Irony Guy
Bountiful, Utah,
Aug. 14, 2014

But Obama is NOT turning a "blind eye." There are now 1000 US military experts in Irbil and armaments are flowing in to support the Peshmerga. US airstrikes have beaten back the terrorists and they are now in retreat. DNews editorial writers need to read the newspaper.

Maybe now isn't the time to "argue the merits of US involvement in Iraq" (although the DNews was all in favor of it back in '03). But it's still a tragedy that the Cheney Oil Company created this mess in the first place--a tragic outcome that many of us foresaw long ago.

4. FreedomFighter41
Provo, UT,
Aug. 14, 2014

By show of hands, who here believes that Iraq will remain a united country and a democracy over the next 10-20 years?

Crickets

So aren't we sorta postponing the inevitable?

Why put Americans in harms way while wasting more money to merely postpone the inevitable?

5. The Real Maverick
Orem, UT,
Aug. 14, 2014

Ignoring the reasons why we invaded in the first place takes away the entire objective and purpose of the war. Not only that, but it perpetuates the problems we currently face.

How many more lives must be lost? How many more trillions must be wasted? If you're somebody like Dan and you don't want to remember the objective and purpose, then I guess Iraq will be worth any and all costs!

I'm sorry dan, that you and your president didn't think about their consequences before pushing the red button. We invaded to get Saddam and to destroy WMDs. We got Saddam and the WMDs didn't exist. It's over.

American cannot continue to throw endless amounts of lives and dollars down the drain in Iraq. Our continual intervention in Iraq will destroy us. Gay marriage didn't destroy the Romans. Perpetual war which weakened them to the point that vandals could take Rome did. America cannot afford to be exploited as the world's policeman any longer.