Understanding Other People

The last 11 years have proven that Iraqi leaders are not willing to work together. Yet, we are still telling them to do so. Never mind that the Shiite-Sunni conflict has existed for over 1000 years. As former Defense Secretary and the architect of the Vietnam War Robert McNamara said, “I don’t think we understand the Moslems – Moslem fundamentalist, I don’t think we in America understand the Chinese, I am not sure if we understand the Russians. For God’s sake try to understand other people.”

Back in the ’60s we were obsessed with the Domino theory of communism in which we feared that communists were determined to take over the world. Mr. McNamara thirty years later admitted that we were wrong and he and General Lemay were behaving as war criminals Sadly, our leaders have been consistently wrong in predicting almost every major event in the last 30 years.

Fast forward 50 years, and now we are told that militant Islam is determined to take over the world. What if our leaders are wrong once again? Somehow our leaders do not seem to learn from history
or maybe this is how the Beltway Beast wants it; a perpetual war to profit a few at an enormous cost to our children and young soldiers, let alone the mayhem it leaves behind.

There is a cottage industry in Washington D.C., which survives and thrives on the Middle East conflict. It is determined to keep us tangled up there regardless of which party occupies the White House. This is despite the fact that not only have we failed to solve the Middle East problem for over 40 years, but have made it worse. The only thing we have gained from our involvement in the Middle East is more enemies.

One cannot underestimate the power of the Beltway Beast. Even the President of the United States, being the most powerful person in the world, has succumbed to it. President Obama, who as a candidate called the Iraqi war a dumb war has been resisting the political pressure to get us back in Iraq but he gave in and now it is too late. We are back again in Iraq that began with military advisors, Special Forces and now bombings in Iraq and Syria. We all know what is next. One of the advisors will get killed and the drum beat of sending the troops to defend Americans will start. The narrative will be to bring justice to those who killed Americans. May be we should change the narrative and hold our leaders accountable for sending the soldiers to get killed for flawed policies in the first place.

We have been told that there is no military solution to the Iraqi problem. Yet, we keep on trying to solve it through military means. The reality calls for Iraq to be divided into three countries since it was artificially created after World War I. We go to the United Nations and get resolutions passed to bomb other nations. It might be refreshing to let the United Nations find a diplomatic solution to what is inevitable before we dig our hole even deeper and create more enemies.

Perhaps it is time to bring new leadership in Washington that wants to understand other people before sending our soldiers to die. Perhaps it is time for a mainstream third party that is focused on America first, before the party and special interests.

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