Letting Iraq Collapse Would Spell Disaster for Americans
"Although it now wants to withdraw and deal with Iraq from a distance, it is entering a dark tunnel and confronting losses the likes of which it hasn't absorbed in many years. ... If the U.S. continues to deal with Iraq without realism if not deliberate disregard, Iraqis have the ways and means to put it in an internationally uncomfortable position."
One of the first issues the
United States should keep in mind is that an Iraqi collapse would lead to additional
breakdowns in the region. There will likely be more unhappy surprises putting the United States on the threshold of an era of fragmentation,
disintegration and endemic crisis difficult to overcome. At that
point, the U.S. will lack the force and deterrence capacity needed to deal with the consequences. So although it now wants to withdraw and deal with
Iraq from a distance, it is entering a dark tunnel and confronting losses the
likes of which it hasn't absorbed in many years.
If the United States wants to
allow Iraq to collapse and wither away, that's one thing. But if it wants to prevent
its collapse, then it must do something about the bone-breaking struggle
between parties and political blocs. This terrible confrontation over power threatens
the entire region with unpredictable consequences and danger greater than the
most devastating earthquake or most fanciful work of fiction.
Ideally, Iraq would represent
an arc of stability in the region and the world. If Iraq was dealt with cleverly
rather than with stupidity, stubbornness and arrogance - which sadly appear to
be permanent features of American foreign policy - Iraq would provide a rare bridge
to stability and peace.
While American officials acknowledge
this behavioral flaw, they don't want to admit that it is permanent, and is
based on the facts, analysis and tendencies of military leaders who up to now
have ignored many hidden truths in regard to the long and complicated history
of Iraq and Iraqis.
If the U.S. continues to deal
with Iraq without realism if not deliberate disregard, Iraqis have the ways and
means to put the United States in an internationally uncomfortable position. Along
with the Jewish state, America must therefore accept the facts on the ground
and give up the idea that it can change boundaries on the world map on a whim.
Otherwise only Allah knows how disastrous the consequences will be.
The United States is mistaken
if it thinks that acting from a distance will shield it from surprise or unwanted
reactions from interested parties who share its influence. The U.S. can't rely
on power sharing scenarios or the empowerment of one party over another while
Iraqis languish with the destruction, pain, division and chaos that American
policy has thrust on the country. The policies of the United States have
plunged Iraq into one crisis after another.
The struggles and rivalries
among political blocs, the absence of an American role, and the meddling in
Iraq by other countries in the region send a strong signal that the expected
surprises will be greater than America's capacity to address them and stop the
Iraqi damn from collapsing.
If, however, balance can be
brought back to their disrupted country, there is hope for Iraqis that security
and stability can be restored, and Iraq can once again play a positive and
decisive stabilizing role in the region and the world.