Five days after U.S. forces hastily withdrew from Iraq, fourteen bomb blasts in Baghdad killed 63 people and injured 185 others. Foreign Secretary William Hague condemned the attack as cowardly but what did we really expect to happen?
When the U.S. forces left Germany shortly after WWII ended nothing of the sort happened. Exactly, nothing of the sort happened because the forces did not leave. In 2011, Germany is a stellar member of the peaceful, productive nations of this planet. While that is mostly due to the Germans, as they are as civilized as any people on Earth, had the conquerors of 1945 followed the model set by the U.S. in Iraqi, I venture to speculate they would not be the same today. It takes organization, determination, and time to convert a totalitarian-warlike nation into a free and contributing nation. Maybe it wouldnt have taken 70 years, but it needed more than seven.
During the force-fed rehabilitation of Germany, the U.S. forces kept the Soviet antagonists at bay with a constant threat of war. That threat of war included not just armed soldiers at checkpoints but also the promised use of annihilating-force against any large muscle movements by the Soviets. We called that the Cold War back then.
With the advent of the Cold War, two German states were formed in 1949: the western Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) and the eastern German Democratic Republic (GDR). The democratic FRG embedded itself in key Western economic and security organizations, the EC, which became the EU, and NATO, while the Communist GDR was on the front line of the Soviet-led Warsaw Pact. The decline of the USSR and the end of the Cold War allowed for German unification in 1990. Since then, Germany has expended considerable funds to bring Eastern productivity and wages up to Western standards. In January 1999, Germany and 10 other EU countries introduced a common European exchange currency, the euro. In January 2011, Germany assumed a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council for the 2011-12 term–thats a success story.
The Soviets couldnt logically risk their total destruction so they postured campaigns all around the world hoping to exhaust the U.S. and then they could have their way with Germany and the rest of the world. But that didnt happen, the Soviets were exhausted by the American double-blessings of leading-edge technological developments and the greatest economy in history of mankind, which enabled the U.S. forces to be unbeatable.
This War in Iraq mess went differently. The rehabilitation program was mostly designed by the patient, while the U.S. forces allowed Iranian antagonists to leak into the county to lead the locals bandits in organized violent actions. The U.S. political machine went out of its way to soften any demands or threats against Iran, which appeared to encourage their schemes. Today the American technological programs have mostly been hacked into by the Chinese and others, which have mostly encouraged opposition to the U.S. and the American economy has been disassembled by a legislative branch which hasnt produced a budget for over 1000 days, while the Democrat Party leaders have plunged the national debt to a greater level than the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the first time since the American Revolution. For political reasons, which escape strategic reasoning, the U.S. has abandoned maybe the last opportunity to establish and maintain a civilized stronghold in a totalitarian-aggressive region without having to resort to annihilating-force.
Ironically, many are blaming U.S. intervention in Iraq as the reason for the current situation. As a reminder, in August 1990, Iraq seized Kuwait but was expelled by US-led, UN coalition forces during the Gulf War of January-February 1991. Following Kuwait’s liberation, the UN Security Council (UNSC) required Iraq to scrap all weapons of mass destruction and long-range missiles and to allow UN verification inspections. Continued Iraqi noncompliance with UNSC resolutions over a period of 12 years led to the US-led invasion of Iraq in March 2003 and the ouster of the Saddam Hussein regime.
The invasion of Iraq was the result of Saddam Hussein’s failure to comply with U.N. sanctions, which was magnified through the prism of 9-11 and the resultant Global War on Terrorism. Todays revisionists are quick to say, Saddam Hussein did not bomb the World Trade Center on 9-11, which is just as true as the equally interesting but not compelling declaration, Adolf Hitler did not bomb Pearl Harbor on 7 Dec 1941.
To do great things, even great nations need great leadership. Great leadership at the national level is usually manifest in the leaders ability to communicate his vision to the people. Hope and change was a bumper sticker which appears to have been used as a blindfold on the American people.
The 44th U.S. President outlawed the use of the previous administration’s somewhat nebulous term Global War on Terrorism opting instead for the completely ambiguous term Overseas Contingency Operations. The resultant failure of national leadership to educate the American people as to why we were at war since 9-11 has all but squandered the investment of lives and treasure, which should have been used as a lever to move world opinion and policy against aggression and to deter what may prove to be the most destructive war ever.
It just makes sense.