“The people of England have been led in Iraq [Mesopotamia] into a trap from which it will be hard to escape with dignity and honor. They have been tricked into it by a steady withholding of information. The Baghdad communiques are belated, insincere, incomplete. Things have been far worse than we have been told, our administration more bloody and inefficient than the public knows. It is a disgrace to our imperial record, and may soon be too inflamed for any ordinary cure. We are today not far from a disaster.”
Written over 80 years ago by Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Edward Lawrence, a British soldier renowned especially for his liaison role during the Arab Revolt of 1916–18, and known throughout the world as Lawrence of Arabia. These words apply equally well to the current situation in present-day Iraq. It is intolerable that the United States maintain the occupation of Iraq one more day. While it is true that the United States is directly responsible for the deteriorated state of that country’s infrastructure, and for the destabilization of the country’s defenses, we cannot continue to occupy that country any longer. The United States, under President Obama’s leadership, must follow through quickly on his promise to withdraw our fighting forces from that country. It is one of the chief reasons that many people supported his candidacy. However, President Obama has not firmly committed to closing the permanent military bases that the previous administration sought to establish there.
The United States is responsible for dismantling the infrastructure of Iraq, through private contractors who basically looted that country, ruining its systems of water and electrical power distribution, and dismissing that country’s armed forces who were eager to help run their own country. It is for these reasons that the United States must help Iraq financially, and work closely with Iraq’s neighbors to insure that their borders are secure, and that aid will flow from those other countries into Iraq as well. But, we must withdraw all of our armed forces, and quickly, in order to finally end the bloodshed and restore order to that remote battleground for US political and financial interests.
In addition, it is clear to me that the pursuit of war in Afghanistan has no logical end, with no clear victory. A surge of troops there will neither destroy the Taliban influence, nor restore that country to it’s pre-invasion state. As in Iraq, the United States should pursue a course of working closely with other governments to stem the flow of money to terror groups and restrict the flow of weapons to the area. I believe that is it time for the United States of America to restore our commitment to world peace through diplomacy and cooperation, as was best demonstrated though our involvement in the establishment of an organization of United Nations. As terrible as the actions of terrorists are, and as horrible as the ideas of religious and political extremists are, they cannot be effectively countered, in the long run, through warfare. They must be met with an example of a better way. We cannot refuse to meet and talk with other countries based on their differing types of religious, economic or political structures. It is only though an acceptance of the right of all nations to self determination that we can establish the trust necessary for all nations to want to work together in our common interests.
Trade and diplomatic relations with all nations is a prerequisite for peace, and can help prevent the rise of misunderstandings, belligerent posturing, and the hopelessness that inspires peoples to acts of barbarism, either through small acts of terror, or large state-sponsored terror by way of invasions and retaliations. I call on President Obama, the United States Congress, and the real government of this country, its citizens, to end all occupations of other nations by this nation, to open diplomatic relations with all nations, and end all restrictions on trade and free commerce with any nation, as a first step toward a future of worldwide peace and economic prosperity.