Wednesday, July 23, 2008

We are not Iraq's nursemaids

I saw this comment from a conservative on a blog today, My question is, what is now best for the Iraqi people, and I like my response so much, I decided to post it as a blog-post here:

We should help people when we can, but that does not mean that we have to try to help people we can't actually help.

We've got no more a moral obligation to fix Iraq than we do to transform the Moon or Mars into habitable environments for future generations to escape to if earth gets too messed up- it's too big a task. There are other people we can help a lot more and a lot more easily (like people in America, or people abroad who are impoverished but live in less violent areas than Iraq) and if we were truly acting humanistically, those are the peole we would be helping, not squandering lives and resources in Iraq.

Iraq might benefit from a far more limited presence (that is dedicated solely to getting bad guys when they get violent) but our massive presence there is perhaps even provoking more violence than it is preventing. In any event, even if our presence makes some areas of their country safer, it is a real waste (in terms of how much good it does and how lasting that good is likely to be) compared to the good the money and manpower could be doing somewhere else.
What we should do is prevent Iraq from descending into anarchy if we can and if it's worth the price. We can do that if all it takes is sending out some forces to kick the butts of gangs that get too violent and militant. But if the whole country wants to kill each other, then what it takes at the least to prevent anarchy is to occupy the whole country. If you look at it in terms of what all the money and manpower could be doing elsewhere, it's not worth the cost. That may sound hard at first, but it's not-- it's really benevolent towards people we could be doing a much better job of helping, but we're not since the conservatives are pulling (almost) all the strings, and it's benevolent to all the U.S. troops who are going to get hurt and killed in Iraq, and it's benevolent to those troops' families.