Iraq imploding, will the US intervene?
CBS this morning laid out some of what is going on:
Volunteers flocked to protect the Iraqi capital on Friday as militants inspired by al-Qaeda seized more territory overnight, continuing a rampage that is threatening to tear the country apart.
Iraqi officials said tens of thousands of volunteers had answered a call to join the ranks of the crumbling security forces and repel advances by heavily armed fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) as the group seized the towns of Saadiyah and Jalawla north of the capital.
Shiite religious leaders, including Iraq’s top Shiite cleric, used Friday prayers to call on the faithful to take up arms against the radical Sunni Muslim insurgents. In the Shiite holy city of Karbala, a representative of Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani urged anyone who can carry a weapon to “defend the country, the citizens and the holy sites.”
Veterans of the Iraq War and their families are watching with dismay and alarm as Sunni insurgents overrun large swaths of Iraq, including cities like Mosul, where hundreds of U.S. troops died.
“I completely disagreed with the decision to walk away from Iraq,” said former Army Sgt. Kenneth Mancanares. “Now, to be honest, I’m trying to think if there’s even a way I could get back out there. I’m sure there are a lot of guys feeling that way. I really wish that I could sign up on something tomorrow and join a volunteer group that’s going there to stand up for these people.”
Mancanares spent more than two years in Iraq, first in Ramadi and then in Baghdad. “I lost countless friends; I’ve seen quite a bit of bad stuff over there,” he said.
“It’s not about my personal feelings, ‘Did I waste my time,’ or ‘did my buddies die in vain.’ I have met those people over there and I became friends with them and I recognize their humanity. That’s one of the things that is lost here ... it’s so political, no one is really saying how bad it is for those people.”
I was discussing the issue on my Facebook page last night, and it reminded me of a quote from JFK when he was a Congressman. In discussing China as it went Red, JFK said:
“Mr. Speaker, over this weekend we have learned the extent of the disaster that has befallen China and the United States. The responsibility for the failure of our foreign policy in the Far East rests squarely with the White House and the Department of State. The continued insistence that aid would not be forthcoming, unless a coalition of government with the Communists were formed, was a crippling blow to the National Government.…This is a tragic story of China, whose freedom we once fought to preserve. What our young men had saved, our diplomats and our President have frittered away.”
Now, I don't actually blame either the President or the State Department on this, or at least not directly, but I hate to think that with all the blood we shed there that we are "frittering" away a chance for that country to join the developed world and embrace Democracy.