By Alex Saitta
July 2, 2014
The fall of the north western Iraq and probably the entire country to radical Muslims is a game changer in the Middle East. Not only does it look like our soldiers died in vain (another Vietnam due to mis-management by our President), but it raises long-term risk to the US interests in the Middle East and to Americans at home. ISIS and these other radical Muslim groups aim to kill Americans. No one disputes that. They have the desire, but only lack the means. If they can take hold of Iraq which produces and exports millions of barrels of oil a day, they'll have the dollars to buy whatever they need to attack Americans there and here.
President Bush’s initial plan was a good one — create a friendly democracy in Iraq, build back Iraq’s economy through oil sales, and in 10 or 20 years Iraq could stand alone and from there Democracy could be exported to the rest of the region. Bush accomplished the first two. Gosh, Iraq's oil sales are #2 in the world. He was close to the third, but it required a US presence in Iraq for a decade or two. Obama fully pulling the US out of Iraq in 2011 was a mistake and would have been like the US leaving Germany in 1949. Foolish. Today, we still have 20 bases in Germany, decades after the fall of Hitler. A base(s) in Iraq made strategic sense giving us another strike force in the Middle East to protect the flow of oil, and not far from troublesome China and Russia.
The world is a dangerous place, full of killers who believe the US is standing in their way. If we choose not to stand against these radicals over there, in time we'll be fighting them here.
I know a lot of our leaders in Washington are saying “no boots on the ground”, but sooner rather than later those who are experts, will come to the Senators, the President and the House Reps and say, if we do nothing, this and this and that are our long-term risks, and we’ll be sending troops there. Our strategic interests there are just too great.
Finally, as energy prices rise, this is a stark reminder of why the US must reduce its dependence on Middle Eastern oil. The US must do more oil drilling here at home, build more pipelines, pursue coal options and increase its production of natural gas domestically.