Yeah you can look me up on Facebook and Twitter too, just look for "Bob Senitram." I'm just too lazy to post the links.
With all the Broo-hah-ha in Egypt, I think it is relevant to consider that the residents just want a place to live and work in peace, where it is possible to get a return on your effort. You can call it freedom, democracy, or just a little free enterprise.
Apparently things got so bad that millions of folks took to the streets and said "no more." Remember, those same folks in China would have been fired upon. And back 40 years ago, they might have been fired upon if they were in the US, but things are a little better here these days and stuff like that don't happen no more. But it is important to remember not too long ago, it was different.
Anyway, back in the day that we were loosing lives and treasure in Iraq, I suggested that it was a big waste because repressive governments seem to end on their own when people are mistreated enough.
Here's my summary on the subject written six years ago on 02/04/05 in the "Ask Bob" archives:
I'm glad Iraq finally got their elections, it's a start. I never supported the Iraqi invasion, but at least all those folks didn't die for nothing. But it doesn't make it better in my book. So many people died, Americans and Iraqi's…and for what? To put a stop to WMD's in Iraq? Turns out they never had them, so it really was a wasted effort.
We put an end to Saddam's regime. That's nice and fine, but the guy's sixty-something years old. How long do you think he'd live anyway? That's the thing about a dictatorship, it ends when the dictator dies. Seems like a waste to loose all those lives and spend billions of dollars to end a regime whose years were numbered.
And now they have the foundation to build a democratic society, which is also nice and fine, but I feel most governments will eventually evolve to a system with greater human rights. In short, a democratic-like society. It's the nature of things.
For example the USSR moved to a democratic system all by themselves. In China, the public moved toward a democratic system with no help from us. They failed, but the effort was made and that's important. Just give them time.
Likewise, left alone, when Saddam died, they may have moved toward a system with more human rights and may have inched toward a democratic-like system. Sure it would have taken time. But in contrast, spending time is a much lower cost that what we choose to do. Especially when the country posed no probable danger to the U.S.A.
But the tremendous mistake was made and if speeding up the democratic process is the only benefit, I'll take it. Unfortunately, I feel we've done more harm than good. By invasion, we've left a horrible taste in the mouths of the Middle East. What was once an idealistic dream of wonderful freedoms by some is now replaced with the idea of a heavy sword of imperialistic aggression. This most logically will make people view our form of government as a USSR-like evil empire.
We need to look at the past. A hundred years or so ago, when Great Britain occupied Iraq, they suffered casualties every day for seventy-five years. When they finally left, they set up a puppet regime and week after leaving, their appointed leader was beheaded and Iraq set up their own government.
I'm afraid history may repeat itself. Whether we leave in five months, five years or fifty years, I'm afraid that it is highly probable the same thing will happen again. I feel it would be in our best interest to admit the mistake, count our losses and leave as soon as possible.
Well...I hate to say, "I told you so..." but...
COMING NEXT: Who's calling what kettle what?