Over the past several days there has been a lot of debate about whether the killing of Qasem Soleimani was a smart decision or an unnecessary escalation in what appears to be a growing conflict between the United States and Iran.
Me personally, I don’t have much of an opinion either way.
By all accounts Soleimani was a very bad person and we are likely safer now that he has been wiped of the face of the planet.
In terms of whether the killing was a smart geopolitical move, well, I will leave that one to the experts and to how history will ultimately define the decision.
My big question about all of this is – what the heck are we still doing in Iraq?
The initial invasion of Iraq began nearly 17 years ago.
It has cost us $2.7 trillion and the lives of 4,424 US soldiers. There were also nearly 32,000 US soldiers injured during the main conflict.
In addition, the estimates of Iraqi civilians killed between 2003 and 2019 have ranged anywhere from 190,000 all the way up to 400,000. There have been numerous studies into this issue and one can base their own opinion on which numbers are accurate based on which study they most trust, but bottom line is that no matter which study you go with, there have been an absurd number of Iraqi civilians killed during the past 17 years.
Donald Trump has clearly stated that going into the Middle East was a terrible decision.
Here is the exact quote from an Oval Office interview President Trump gave in September of 2018:
“The worst single mistake ever made in the history of our country: going into the Middle East, by President Bush. Obama may have gotten (U.S. soldiers) out wrong, but going in is, to me, the biggest single mistake made in the history of our country.”
Trump went on to say “To me, it’s the worst single mistake made in the history of our country. Civil war you can understand. Civil war, Civil War. That’s different. For us to have gone into the Middle East, and that was just, that was a bad day for this country, I will tell you.”
What Donald Trump is explicitly saying is that our last republican Commander in Chief’s decision to invade Iraq and get involved in the Middle East was “the worst single mistake ever made in the history of our country”.
If we are to agree with Trump’s assessment of the situation, then we must also accept the fact that a Republican Commander in Chief’s decision cost us $2.7 trillion, more than 4,000 US lives and resulted in the deaths of at least 200,000 Iraqi civilians…and we are still there. We have still not completely left Iraqi and we are still spending US taxpayer dollars there.
That has to be a tough pill for Republicans to swallow.
If we are to disagree with Trump’s assessment that Bush’s decision to invade Iraq was “the worst single mistake in US history”, then we are disagreeing with our current Commander in Chief on the biggest military action our nation has taken since Vietnam…not a very good boast of confidence in the man we currently have leading our armed forces in the Middle east.
So which is it?
Do you agree with President Trump that Bush’s decision to enter the Middles East was “the worst single mistake in US history”, thus shouldering the blame as a Republican party for the cost in US taxpayer money and lives, not to mention the lives of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians, that were the result of that decision?
Or do you disagree with President Trump on that matter, thus putting you in direct conflict with the views of the man (Donald Trump) currently leading our nation and commanding our troops in the Middle East?
Where do you stand?