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Popping Open Pandora's Box:Were We Better Off with or without Saddam Hussein?

Your author sticks his own neck out by wondering if we weren't better off with the Butcher of Baghdad?
Your author sticks his own neck out by wondering if we weren't better off with the Butcher of Baghdad? | Source

Which Tired Adage Comes to your Head, or Wraps Itself Around your Neck?

Because there is absolutely nothing that we can do now to resuscitate Saddam Hussein; to unearth his rotting corpse from the tomb, give him back his corrupt crony thugs and say "Go fix it!" then this article really falls into the category of crying over spilt milk, closing the barn door after the horse has escaped, etc.

On the other hand, if we examine the errors that were made in Iraq from the beginning of its long history of internecine conflict and bloodshed, then perhaps examining these mistakes can help politicians to make better foreign policy decisions, and can help individual Americans to make better choices about the politicians we vote for. In other words, perhaps we can all learn to avoid that other overused aphorism of not throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

Do not confuse the conclusions laid out in this article with any kind of admiration or affection for Saddam Hussein. The man was a brutal beast and a cold blooded murderer. But he was also the rather rancid glue that held together the shaky, explosive, unnatural house of cards called Iraq that was created by us wise folks in the West by arbitrarily drawing lines on a map, apparently with our eyes closed.

The modern day state of Iraq is a crude hodge-podge of conflicting cultural groups, the three dominant being the Kurds in the North, the Sunni Muslims scattered throughout the center, and the dominant Shia Muslims everywhere else. However appalling his atrocities may have been, Saddam managed to keep this volatile collection of mutually inimical peoples in a state of uneasy peace for roughly 30 years, something that was not accomplished before or since. By ousting Hussein in 2003 we popped the lid off Pandora's box and have not yet been able to get a grip upon the evil forces unleashed in the process.

The purpose of this article, therefore, is not to extol the virtues of this deposed monster, but to remind people of another tired adage, this being that the devil you know is better than the devil you don't. In short, next time we choose to forcibly remove a bad government we should be damn sure we have something better to replace it with.

Pandora was a big deal even before she was an Internet radio app.
Pandora was a big deal even before she was an Internet radio app. | Source

What does an Internet Radio App have to do with Saddam Hussein?

For some of you younger readers the word Pandora may just bring up thoughts of an Internet radio app, but when I was coming up they were still teaching us a thing or two about mythology, so I learned the tale of Pandora and her fateful box at a very young age.

For the sake of the mythologically challenged, the Greek myths tell us that Pandora was the first woman. As a token of appreciation for her beauty, Zeus gave Pandora a beautiful jar as a wedding gift, along with strict orders never to open it. Naturally Pandora's female curiosity got the better of her, she took Zeus's warnings as a challenge rather than a safety tip, and barely had she set the box upon the mantel before deciding to crack the lid. As a consequence all of the evils which now run rampant throughout the world came pouring out, and that is why the human race is in so much misery today.

In modern times Pandora's box is still used as a metaphor to point out an action that seems enlightened enough at the time, but has far reaching negative consequences. In my opinion, Saddam Hussein was the evil lid holding back the greater evils stored in the Pandora's box of Iraq. In removing him we unleashed an incalculable litany of woes and miseries onto the Middle East and the world in general that eleven years and a trillion dollars haven't been able to get a lid on yet.

The map looks harmless enough, but the pretty colored paper can't tell the troubled history.
The map looks harmless enough, but the pretty colored paper can't tell the troubled history. | Source
TE Lawrence, "Lawrence of Arabia," was one of the architects behind building the "Pandora's Box" that Iraq became.
TE Lawrence, "Lawrence of Arabia," was one of the architects behind building the "Pandora's Box" that Iraq became. | Source

Who Made this Mess?

If you study Greek mythology you soon realize that the Greeks blamed women for everything. It was Helen whose face launched the thousand ships that set out to fight the disastrous Trojan war, and it was the insatiable feminine curiosity of Pandora that was responsible for unleashing evil into the Universe. In our more enlightened modern society we can place the blame for our Pandoras boxes not on the ladies, but squarely upon the shoulders of "good old boy" politicians and their cronies that buy them into office. It is misinformed, unenlightened men that not only pry the lids off, but are responsible for building the toxic containers in the first place.

The history of the modern Iraq Pandora's box goes back to WW I, which found the English set against the German-allied Ottoman Empire. With the assistance of English officers such as THE Lawrence of Lawrence of Arabia fame, the Arabs were able to throw off the Ottoman yoke that had controlled them for roughly 500 years. Lawrence's close association with King Faisal, the leader of the Northern Army of the Arab revolt, was certainly instrumental in setting Faisal upon the throne of Iraq. 40 years before David Lean's immortal film, the flamboyant Lawrence was already the star of a travelling documentary that glamorized his role in the conflict, and he skillfully used this fame to get his Sunni Muslim friend Faisal imposed over the Shia Muslim majority in Iraq.

In deciding how they were going to divvy up the Middle East after the defeat of the Ottoman Empire, the British and French drew lines on a map that corresponded more to realms of economic exploitation and less to the long term prosperity of the people living within these fanciful borders. All that the British needed was a good puppet to enforce British policy, and since Lawrence's Faisal seemed as good as any they put him in charge of the portion of the British mandate that became Iraq.

A skilled practitioner of the personality cult, Saddam never missed a photo opportunity.
A skilled practitioner of the personality cult, Saddam never missed a photo opportunity. | Source
Your humble author personally witnessed the damaged USS Stark after it was hit by two Iraqi Exocet missiles and then towed to Bahrain for repairs, at the height of Saddam's "friendship" with the American people.
Your humble author personally witnessed the damaged USS Stark after it was hit by two Iraqi Exocet missiles and then towed to Bahrain for repairs, at the height of Saddam's "friendship" with the American people. | Source

Saddam was Once our Buddy

The end of the British mandate in Iraq came in 1958, followed by a very unstable democracy that lasted about ten years, after which the Arab nationalist Baath party took control. Saddam Hussein was an instrumental army officer in the coup that put the Baathists in power, and he consolidated his authority by sneaking Sunnis from his hometown of Tikrit into high positions. Saddam remained the power behind the throne until 1979, when he was formally installed as Iraq's ruler.

Saddam took over at about the time that the pro-American Shah of Iran was overthrown and theocratic Ayatollah Khomeini seized power. Khomeini stirred the pot with sympathetic Shia groups in Iraq who wished to create their own Islamic state, and in order to forestall this undesirable situation the United States supported Saddam as a buffer against the expansion of Muslim fundamentalism. In a brutal 8 year war against Iran US President Ronald Reagan gave money and intelligence to Saddam in hopes that he would defeat the Ayatollah. The brutal dictator of Iraq was removed from the US list of state sponsors of terrorism, even though he had most definitely not become a good boy scout overnight.

The United States remained on good terms with Saddam after the Iran-Iraq war ended, even after the Iraqi dictator killed thousands of Kurds with mustard and nerve gas. This attack was blamed on Iran and the US accepted the explanation, looking at the Middle East as we were through anti-Ayatollah rosy colored glasses. Relations with Saddam went along splendidly, even after missiles fired by Iraqi planes struck the USS Stark in 1987, an act which had your young bluejacket author patrolling the Persian Gulf a couple of weeks later.

Was W a chip off the old block, or just a blockhead?
Was W a chip off the old block, or just a blockhead? | Source

Bush League Decisions - George the First had it Right

After his business with Iran concluded and the Kurdish mess had been gruesomely disposed of, Saddam continued to chase his wispy dictator's dreams of territorial expansion by invading Kuwait. This resulted in the Persian Gulf War, in which Iraqi forces were handily defeated by the United States and allies and the road to Baghdad lay wide open.

President George H Bush was roundly criticized later for not "finishing the job" by rolling straight on to the Presidential Palace and removing the Butcher of Baghdad once and for all. Instead, he held the coalition forces back to endure the sadistic caprices of this madman for another 12 years.

A lot of theories have been offered to explain why a triumphant George Bush the First suddenly became skittish before the gates of Baghdad, including the following: House to house fighting in the interior of Iraq would have resulted in severe US casualties, the UN security council only authorized enough force to oust the Iraqis from Kuwait, the United States led coalition would have fallen apart, there would have been senseless collateral damage to the lives and property of Iraq's citizens, a bloody counterinsurgency war would be necessary to put down Iraqi rebellion, George Sr was sensitive to the foreign policy of the Turks, who were involved in their own counterinsurgency efforts against the Kurds and didn't want the US to remove Saddam Hussein, their best weapon in that conflict. All of these ideas have been expounded by the academic talking heads, and they look nice when laid out on the lines of research papers.

With the accumulated wisdom of years under our belts and the bloody events of Fallujah, roadside and suicide bombs, and thousands of body bags being shipped home on cargo planes to American shores, we can more calmly and reflectively analyze the elder Bush's decision not to take out Saddam. Unlike his more impulsive, hot-headed son, perhaps he simply understood that Iraq was a rotten house of cards that would collapse at the slightest nudge. Saddam was the only putrid cement holding it up.

So it was left to his son, George W, to move in 12 years later and blow the lid off of Pandora's box.


Proud purple fingers couldn't hold back the terrorists and suicide bombers that filled the void after Saddam's departure.
Proud purple fingers couldn't hold back the terrorists and suicide bombers that filled the void after Saddam's departure. | Source

Filling the Void

If the decade long Iraq war initiated in 2003 by George H's less prudent offspring proved one thing to the US, it was that the artificially and arbitrarily created nation state of Iraq could only be held together as an entity through sheer brute force. Saddam held onto power for some 30 years by recognizing this cruel reality. Despite the United States' more noble hopes for a smooth transition to democracy, an unquenchable undercurrent of unrest demonstrated that maybe Saddam was right; maybe centuries of tribal tensions among ethnic groups that historically hated one another could not be put to rest by purple fingered voters alone.

There wasn't a stove hot enough anywhere to get all the mutually incompatible ingredients in the Iraq melting pot to stir together smoothly. All the same the US declared victory after 10 bloody years and the withdrawal of US troops from this combustible Mesopotamian mixture was finished in 2011. Maintaining the unpopular government elected by the hopeful purple fingered public had required an enormous host that peaked at 170,000, but still was not big enough to subdue this bristly beast laying astride the shores of the Tigris and Euphrates.

Without the support of US troops the Iraqi government lingered on in shaky peace for a couple years more. Then in June of 2014 the unstable edifice began to show signs of imminent collapse when the nation lost control of its borders and militants of a heretofore relatively unknown group known as ISIL, sometimes ISIS, began to take control of huge swaths of Iraqi territory. Advancing distressingly close to Baghdad, the ISIL militants captured oil fields and dams and pursued a policy of executing everyone who did not practice the same flavor of Islam as they did. This is not quite the Utopian vision of Iraqi democracy that the policy makers painted when the US and her allies invaded in 2003, but this is where Pandora's box stands on the eve of 2015.

One of these boys will never again drive a tractor across his Father's Iowa corn field, one of these ladies will never bake another niece's birthday cake in her Poughkeepsie kitchen.  Was it worth it?
One of these boys will never again drive a tractor across his Father's Iowa corn field, one of these ladies will never bake another niece's birthday cake in her Poughkeepsie kitchen. Was it worth it? | Source

Was it Worth it?

Roughly 4,500 US Servicemen and women died in the Iraq War, if you round off. Approximately 32,000 were wounded. 500 soldiers came home amputees. Depending on the political spin of the source, the Iraq War cost the United States between 750 billion to 1.7 trillion dollars.

What was the result? What was our return on investment for the lives and the heavy financial debt we created for our children, grandchildren, probably great grandchildren to pay off? Did we win the war? Did we create a stable democracy in Iraq, did we install a government in which the governed are free from the threat of arbitrary death, torture, and terror? Do we really care about proliferating cute little carbon copies of US democracy and protecting human rights across the globe, or did we simply pay lip service to these ideals to provide the American people with a digestible justification for this costly conflict? If an outpouring of American altruism really was our goal, is the average Iraqi happier than before the "Shock and awe" bombing of Baghdad took place on March 21st, 2003?

You might say that at least we got rid of a bad dictator, and I say big deal. The United States has traditionally supported and befriended a long litany of dictators; some as bad, some worse than Saddam, who was also our buddy once. If we deployed US troops everywhere democracy and human rights are lacking, our forces would be engaged on every continent except Antarctica, and I wouldn't be surprised to see us bombing the penguins there too.

In the meantime, the whirlwind of evil forces that Saddam was holding back has swooped in like gangbusters. ISIL is eating huge chunks off of the Iraqi map, and the current US presidential administration is softening up the public for a return trip. More billions, more body bags. Would it have been wiser to just leave the lid on Pandora's box? I don't know, ask the families that the flag-draped coffins coming back from Baghdad belong to.

Remember Shock and Awe? This all seemed fun and highly entertaining back in 2003.

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41 comments

mio cid profile image

mio cid 23 months ago from Uruguay

All I have to say is that there is a reason why George Bush the father didn't remove Saddam Hussein from power when he invaded Iraq,and the reason is that being immersed in the intelligence community for years and knowing the reality of the political situation of the region he knew nothing good will come from eliminating the brutal dictator.His son unfortunately relied on some warmongering neo.cons instead of taking advice from his father.


Mel Carriere profile image

Mel Carriere 23 months ago from San Diego California Author

I was thinking about that mio cid, but couldn't include everything. Bush Jr. Was definitely the puppet of the war profiteers. Thanks for your great comment!


mio cid profile image

mio cid 23 months ago from Uruguay

It's a big issue and more complex than that ,but Papa bush deserves credit where credit is due.Great Hub,voted up shared etc.


Mel Carriere profile image

Mel Carriere 23 months ago from San Diego California Author

Thank you again mio cid. I am not a fan of either Bush, but I think Bush Sr. had an edge in the brains department.


Besarien profile image

Besarien 23 months ago

Outstanding historical overview of Amer-Iraqi relations. No way that war was worthwhile. It wasn't a military failure by any stretch. How do you win in a war against a tactic anyway? All that government money that could have mean jobs fixing roads and bridges and researching oil-free energy just got transferred into private hands never to see another tax day. Our brave young dead and injured were the transaction fee.


Mel Carriere profile image

Mel Carriere 23 months ago from San Diego California Author

Thank you Besarien for you kind review. I almost cry when I think about the kids that didn't come back, and for what? I'm glad my boys were too young at the time to enter the military service, but we've got to keep awareness up to discourage US participation in future stupid wars.


billybuc profile image

billybuc 23 months ago from Olympia, WA

Excellent summary of history. The words "you reap what you sow" come to mind when I think of our history with Iraq. Bush Sr. had it right, and it pains me to say that. :)


Mel Carriere profile image

Mel Carriere 23 months ago from San Diego California Author

It pains me so bad to say it Bill that it almost gets stuck on the tongue. I think Bush Sr. was a more calculating, Machiavellian type than his rather simple son, and although he was able to delay the suffering and misery for another decade in the end we just couldn't keep our meddling fingers out. Thanks for reading and commenting!


Ericdierker profile image

Ericdierker 23 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

Very well written. This is a most impressive piece of writing. Too bad we do not get "do-overs" or "mulligans". The price in lives is just to great to get involved in the morass called the Middle East.


AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 23 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

This is a great article, Mel. Your hub is interesting, informative, and very, very thought provoking.


CatherineGiordano profile image

CatherineGiordano 23 months ago from Orlando Florida

A very complete and erudite examination of the Iraq mess that George W. Bush created. Don't ever let someone tell you it doesn't matter who is president. On top of everything you mention, you can add the use of torture. What a sad episode in the U.S. history. P.S. I love your use of metaphor, i.e. "the rancid glue."


skperdon profile image

skperdon 23 months ago from Canada

I abhor violence of any sort so when there is talk or words about I tune it out. All I can think about is " what a waste of human lives".

So I commend you for being a strong person to write such a great piece of writing.

Being a coward of violence, I didn't read it in detail but the parts that I did read really well written Mel Carriere.


kalinin1158 profile image

kalinin1158 23 months ago from California

Hey, Mission Accomplished, right? Whatever the mission was, it was accomplished. Maybe body bags and lost billions of dollars was the mission...Great hub, as always, well-researched, wonderfully written, and funny in the most unexpected places!


Mel Carriere profile image

Mel Carriere 23 months ago from San Diego California Author

Eric Dierker in my line of work we mostly get do-overs (except for those darn door slots) which is good because otherwise there would be a line of complainers out to the street at the post office where I work. Unfortunately in war there are no do-overs. I would love to have do-overs for those 4500 dead kids. Thanks for reading friend.


Mel Carriere profile image

Mel Carriere 23 months ago from San Diego California Author

Thank you Alicia C. I always try to provoke a thought or two, in the hope that our country will stop making these stupid mistakes. Thanks for reading!


Mel Carriere profile image

Mel Carriere 23 months ago from San Diego California Author

Thank you Catherine it was a sad episode and I think that rancid glue was much better than the chaos and bloodshed that resulted. Thanks for reading and for using the word eriudite.


Mel Carriere profile image

Mel Carriere 23 months ago from San Diego California Author

Skperdon there is nothing cowardly about abhoring violence. It just means you have a healthy soul. I am glad you liked the parts you managed to read. Thanks for dropping by!


Mel Carriere profile image

Mel Carriere 23 months ago from San Diego California Author

Thank you kalinin1158 you always say the nicest things. If the mission was to further enrich Dick Cheney's Haliburton I would say they accomplished that mission quite splendidly too. Thanks for reading!


Jodah profile image

Jodah 23 months ago from Queensland Australia

Informative, well researched hub Mel. I think you posed a very good question. My opinion is that no matter how cruel a dictator Saddam was, that was exactly the type of ruler that is needed in countries like Iraq to control the instability and to prevent other evil groups like ISIS gaining momentum. No matter how good itentons are to bring democracy to the world it just doesn't work. These countries have always been controlled by dictators who rule by instilling fear in the people an that is all they know. Once these rulers are overthrown the country has no idea how to move forward. As you say the US supported Saddam against Iran, they also supported Bin Laden against USSR. I don't need to say any more. These wars are unwinnable ad a waste of young lies and money that could be much better spent elsewhere. In fact the Global Financial Crisis would not have hit the USA so hard if they hadn't been bankrupt by expenditure on war. Our Prime Minister at the time blindly followed his buddy George Bush Jr into battle, and it was all blamed on Iraq's "fictional" weapons of mass destruction. Even a blind man can see Iraq and Aphganistan are worse off now than they were before intervention. In fact the whole Middle East is in a mess. Anyway, I'll stop ranting. Voted up.


DDE profile image

DDE 23 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

Interesting feedback you have here. I voted only history will tell.


Mel Carriere profile image

Mel Carriere 23 months ago from San Diego California Author

Jodah I enjoyed your rant. You nice folks in Australia always have our back, even when we are wrong, so you have earned the right to rant. Thank you for reading and for the great comment!


Mel Carriere profile image

Mel Carriere 23 months ago from San Diego California Author

Thank you DDE. That's an interesting perspective. I hope that history reveals that Iraq is a nation of peace and prosperity because after all those people have been through they deserve it. Thanks for reading!


annart profile image

annart 23 months ago from SW England

A well-argued, well-presented argument with which I totally agree, Mel. I've long thought about many political decisions which have been made in the same vein. We divided India & Pakistan and look what that's like now! In fact, I think Blair is worse than W Bush; he's probably more intelligent and yet he allowed himself to be pulled along into this disastrous action, just because it gave him what seemed the right image at the time. Power, greed, money, who knows what the incentive was; you can bet it wasn't the good of the Iraqis which was uppermost in their thoughts, despite their protestations to the contrary.

It makes me sick that our leaders can do so much damage in the name of democracy. It also makes me sick that we, the voters who got them there, are not doing more to make sure they're accountable and don't make the same mistakes in our name.

I've written many times about the lessons of war, 'Lest we Forget' memorials and WW1, the war to end all wars - ha, ha!

Across the world terrible things are happening and it's too easy to say we can't do anything about it. We can and we should.

Ann


Mel Carriere profile image

Mel Carriere 23 months ago from San Diego California Author

Thank you annart. I think that after 9/11 the sheep just blindly went along because we were all angry and lusting for revenge and Iraq looked as good a dog as any to kick around. The scheming war profiteers certainly knew how to capitalize on our angst. Great comment!


Pawpawwrites profile image

Pawpawwrites 23 months ago from Kansas

Well written look at what is, what was, and what might have been. Although the vast majority of Americans supported overthrowing Saddam, with the advantage of 20/20 hindsight, it is obvious to me that going in was a huge mistake.

But then again, we are still making mistakes in that part of the world. Don't see a good outcome.


Mel Carriere profile image

Mel Carriere 23 months ago from San Diego California Author

Pawpawwrites you raised a very good point about hindsight always being 20/20, and I stand guilty of railing against this bad decision even though I was cheerleading for it too back in 2003. I think most of us were carried away by our passion for revenge and we were blaming the entire Muslim world for what happened on 9/11. Thanks for reading!


Iris Draak profile image

Iris Draak 23 months ago from Boise, Idaho

Mel, I can always count on you for excellent content. You are so lucid and your style and voice are loud and clear. There are so many lines and thoughts that I really liked that to list them here would simply copy your entire piece.

Some might say that it's a done deal and we need to move on, but, as your thesis so clearly states, we have much to learn and although we may not be able to come to a definitive answer in hindsight, it is worth the mulling nonetheless.

Voted up. This is excellent writing!


Mel Carriere profile image

Mel Carriere 23 months ago from San Diego California Author

Thank you Iris Draak for the compliment. I would hope we learn something from this debacle, but something tells me we won't. As long as there are evil, avaricious men who stand to profit on war and we let them do it then I am afraid we will keep making the same mistake. I appreciate you dropping in!


ladyguitarpicker profile image

ladyguitarpicker 23 months ago from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619

Thank you for an excellent article. I agree with you about Bush. If you watch Fox News Obama gets blamed for the expense of this war. We should of left it alone, we made it worse.


Mel Carriere profile image

Mel Carriere 23 months ago from San Diego California Author

That's highly laughable. They probably blame Obama for 9/11 too, even though nobody knew who Obama was then. Politicians are so good at telling lies they believe them themselves. Thank you for reading ladyguitarpicker.


aviannovice profile image

aviannovice 23 months ago from Stillwater, OK

Sadly we cannot turn back time, and even if we did, would it be a good thing. These are questions that will always remain unanswered, as we cannot change the history before and behind us. Good piece!


Mel Carriere profile image

Mel Carriere 23 months ago from San Diego California Author

You are right Deb we can't go back in time, but my thing is if you are going to bomb another country into submission to take out its evil dictator, at least have someone better lined up to take charge afterward. But we had no clue what to do. We took out all the armies leaders along with Saddam and they were the only ones who probably could have restored order. Thanks for reading!


DREAM ON profile image

DREAM ON 22 months ago

Seeing behind the scenes of the real war is so different than what the news reports. History is always changing. We can only hope that one day it will be for the better. Thank you for your hub that helped connect the pieces to those who watched and was very sadden by the loss of more American lives. Have a good day.


Mel Carriere profile image

Mel Carriere 22 months ago from San Diego California Author

Thank you DREAM ON. Yes, watching a war on TV makes it look so dramatic and almost entertaining, but it certainly is not for the civilians and soldiers trying to survive below the bombs. Thank you for reading, have a good day as well.


Akriti Mattu profile image

Akriti Mattu 19 months ago from Shimla, India

I really liked this post. Had written something similar on my blog recently.


Mel Carriere profile image

Mel Carriere 19 months ago from San Diego California Author

Thank you Akriti I will look for that blog.


Akriti Mattu profile image

Akriti Mattu 19 months ago from Shimla, India


Larry Rankin profile image

Larry Rankin 11 months ago from Oklahoma

Hadn't had a chance to read this one before. Wonderfully done. The point I would make is that Hussein needed overthrown, but not by the U.S.

Rebellion comes from within, democracy comes from within, not us going there and trying to impose it on them. Doesn't that defeat the purpose?

What you can do from the outside is support a movement, but you can't start a movement.

For example, if there had been a strong democratic uprising representing a majority within Iraq, then we could have jumped on and helped.

As things took place, we did more harm than good, and as icky as it is to say, they were better off with Hussein in power.

As to putting Hussein to death, I'm not gonna make a huge argument against it, but I will say a better foot would have been put forward for this new 'democracy' had they chosen life imprisonment for him. By putting him to death, they just supported that same old culture of violence, in my opinion.

Again, a wonderfully and very bravely written piece of literature. Thank you for it.


Mel Carriere profile image

Mel Carriere 11 months ago from San Diego California Author

Thank you Larry. From a strictly Machivellian political perspective, Iraq was an artificially created house of cards made up of three different cultures that all hated each other. The situation really required a tyrant, I hate to say. Democracy cannot work in such a situation. We are a melting pot, Iraq isn't. Fanaticism and ignorance don't die easy there. The west made the same mistake in Libya and a similar situation is occurring in Syria. I'm not sure a dogmatic devotion to democracy is right in every situation. Thanks for reading!


Larry Rankin profile image

Larry Rankin 11 months ago from Oklahoma

But some form of democracy is always going to be a logical step in evolution. It absolutely could happen in the Middle East, but on their timetable, not ours.

It might be 10 years from now, more likely a couple of hundred, but the good old U.S. Ain't gonna be the ones that makes it happen.

In fact, so much of what the U.S. has done or had a hand in has slowed or moved backwards this part of the world's evolution.

To me it's about cultural evolution. Go back a few thousand years and most every country was ruled by violent dictators and predicated on the repression of women.

Just as the U.S. culture is light years behind so many countries, the Middle East is very backwards, even compared to us.

The point is, I don't outright disagree with anything you said, but there is hope for peace someday. In so many other countries diametrically opposed religions have found a way to exist in relative peace side by side in a democracy. I'm not going to hold my breath for it, though.


Mel Carriere profile image

Mel Carriere 11 months ago from San Diego California Author

You make some very good points Larry and you are right that societal evolution will eventually bring more enlightened government to the Middle East, but I think for that to happen in Iraq it needs to be split into three separate countries of Sunnis, Shia and Kurds, but the problem with that is that each group wants the oil and the Kurds have most of it. Thanks again.

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