Is American going back to war in Iraq? As the days and weeks go by it seems inevitable that troops will ends up back in the country we withdrew from three years ago. When running for president, then-Senator Barack Obama pledged to end the war in Iraq as soon as possible. He delivered that campaign promise in 2011 when all combat troops left the country.
Obviously in the three years since exiting Iraq, something went seriously wrong. The country saw mass violence and we have seen the rise of ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria). Some called it early and said we would be back and we should be back.It was only a few weeks ago that an imminent humanitarian crisis which sparked the President to act militarily. President Obama ordered airstrikes to prevent genocide against the Christian population in northern Iraq.
Now with the gruesome murder of captured American journalist James Foley this week, strong language condemning the actions came from the Pentagon and the White House. This language seems to imply that more military action will soon come. Whether that is a ratcheted up of the airstrikes, perhaps even to Syria, or an escalation to the return of boots on the ground, we don’t know as of yet. Things have been moving so quickly, anything can happen in the coming days and months.
Now the Real Talk…
As someone with no tolerance for human rights violations and a disgust for genocide, I had personal support for President Obama’s decision to approve airstrikes against ISIS in Northern Iraq. I did not want to witness the massacre of Christian Iraqis just because they were a religious minority in their country.
While we have a lot of issues in the United States of America, one of the things I value most is the freedom to practice and believe in whatever religion you wish. While not all countries have that same expectations in their constitutions, I think it is morally wrong to kill anyone, particularly because of who they are and what they believe.And it says something when the Vatican approves of a form of military action. Apparently Pope Francis saw the potential genocide coming and while he doesn’t advocate for war, he and other religious figures did not want the genocide to occur.
In addition, airstrikes did not commit “boots on the ground” at that time and was a way to support that religious minority who were becoming refugees. The airstrikes and airdrops of food, water, and medical supplies seemed to have been a successful mission.
Now here’s the dilemma I have. While I support any efforts against terrorism, genocide, and other acts of violence, I am not excited at all about the possibility of America going back to war, especially back to Iraq. I am sick and tired of us being in a constant state of war, acting like we are the world’s police man. I don’t think we should have gone to Iraq in the first place, but now that we have, do we have an obligation to go back? That’s a hard question that I’m not prepared to answer.
Why does the United States always have to be at the forefront of these issues? Where are the other “powerful” countries in this world? We learned this week that one of the ISIS terrorists is actually a British national. Where is their leadership on this? Their citizens are just as much at risk of attack as we are, so should any future effort be a joint-effort?
Whatever we end up doing, I hope that there is not another long war in Iraq. I support the defense of human rights but prefer to do fight it as peacefully as possible.