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Travesty Indeed - Yet America's Never Ending Conundrum

Reader comment on item: Wasted U.S. Spending in Iraq (and Afghanistan): $53 billion and Counting
in response to reader comment: The Travesty of Iraq

Submitted by M. Tovey (United States), Dec 15, 2009 at 12:23

There appears to be a recurring situation that America finds herself in cyclical fashion, at one time in appearance as being synchronous, now eccentric and out of balance. This country was founded to provide a place where people seeking a common good could do so under an umbrella of protection, that protection being provided by the government. When things got out of sync, the government stepped up to intervene (one example being the Civil War – America's lesson on out-of-control pride), but then receded to allow the citizenry to pursue life in the freedoms under that protection.

As America's influence in the world expanded, so too did the ideology that the American way of life could supposedly be exported as well, being traded by America for the resources of an undeveloped country. Soon, the good will was lost in the transactions of good business, and whatever got in the way of good business was turned over to the office of military intervention. Many times this appeared subliminal; other times there was no missing the signals of a situation gone wrong.

The American way of international relations is categorically American, never to be mistaken for the political policies of another country; for there is no other country like America (even though Canada might have similarities, there is also disparity). Repeatedly, after America was compelled to enter into the political/military fray of any other region or nation, the immediate second course should have been to leave before becoming embroiled in the local politics with which America has little or no assimilation. Someone might bring up the post war occupation of Germany for so many years after the fall of the third Reich, but the situation there was complicated by the Soviet presence compounded with a hair trigger mentality that could have exploded into a repeat of the collapse of the Treaty of Versailles, and we would have been pulled in again. The collapse of the wall ended that (maybe).

Now it has always been presented that America has had good intentions, and on the surface of it, such an argument can be made…….to a point. In times past, America had the full resources and the populist mentality for the most part, to be a good neighbor when something catastrophic happened around the globe and the Americans responded. This extended to military help when and where circumstances seemed to require that kind of response as well. The U.N took advantage of that as political situations got out of the U.N.'s control, seemingly (and in many instances, in provocation to antipathies of the American presence around the globe) on a constant basis.

Now the argument can be made that there is an underlying business mindset that money can be made in those situations, but this was not an American invention. Colonial imperialist countries (some of which are still in such business today) have made merchandise of political insurrections for centuries, and today there is no difference. There are more AK-47's in the hands of terrorist agencies than any other type of personal weapons, and remember that American weapons are typically too expensive for the run-of-the-mill insurrectionist. In the final analysis, war costs money, a lot of money, more money than if peace were to break out. In that frame of reference, waste is intrinsic in times of confusion, and that is actually counted on by many who are wont to take such advantage.

But underlying that circumstance is one very important other circumstance, that eventually there will be an end to the hostilities. Where will the money spent have gone, and who will have benefitted the most from all of it? In this case, will we be able to say the Iraqi's? Not really, for the people have not been educated into the American way of life, nor do they want to be. It is something not even the U.N. is willing to promote, so the frustration remains, as well as the antipathies that have been a part of that region for centuries. Were it not for the power hungry mentalities of the neighboring government, extraction of the American presence would be the most expedient and prudent action to be considered. But the power hungry mentalities of the neighboring government would compel a return, and where would that lead to in a nuclear environment if there were a premature evacuation. Therein lies the conundrum.

So, there is truth to the idea that Iraq will have no amenable solution, and that the travesty alluded to is yet to be fully realized. So too, more money will be funneled into the region to entertain the idea that there could be a working solution to the political turmoil we see going on constantly: and therein lies the base circumstance, of the centuries old turmoil. It will never end under the current (and historical) mentalities of the local and regional populations. And that is the reality of the travesty that is Iraq, no matter how much money is wasted trying to make it different.

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