A sovereign state is an entity of the international legal system represented by one centralized government that possesses supreme independent authority over a geographic area. International law defines a sovereign state as having a permanent population, defined territory, one government, and is also normally understood to be neither dependent on nor subject to any other power or state. This idea of a sovereign nation is a construct that most Republicans and all neo-conservative warmongers cannot, and will not, accept under any conditions.
Whether they understand American exceptionalism to mean that every nation on Earth is an extension of the United States, or that military might rules the world, Republicans cannot abide a foreign nation’s sovereignty; particularly Iraq and the surrounding region. After invading two sovereign nations, decimating their respective infrastructures, massacring hundreds-of-thousands of innocent civilians, and destabilizing the entire region, Republicans likely believe Afghanistan and Iraq are now American colonies. However, after manipulating America to help purge the country of Iraqi Sunnis and elevating Shias closely-aligned with Iran, the Iraqi government promptly announced “mission accomplished” in 2008 and told America and its occupying force to get out and stay out. Now, after less than six years, a new Iraqi leader finds himself having to reiterate his predecessor’s demand and told America that his nation neither wants, nor needs, another invasion force made up of “foreign American” ground troops in its sovereign nation.
Iraq’s new prime minister, Haider al-Abadi told the Associated Press during an interview yesterday that American ground troops are “Not only not necessary, we don’t want them. We won’t allow them. Full stop.” This is precisely the same thing al-Abadi’s predecessor, former Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, told former president George W. Bush in 2008 that forced an agreement Bush signed committing America to extract its combat forces from Iraq. Who can blame al-Abadi for being wary of another Republican-led demand for an invasion force to insert America in the middle of the Iraqi campaign against ISIS? Although President Obama continues stating there will be no American combat troops on the ground in Iraq or Syria, ISIS is having a great deal of success using Republicans’ favorite ploy of fear-mongering to entice America into another needless war that is a very successful recruitment tool for the Islamic State.
Despite the President’s assurance America will not send another invasion force into Iraq, the Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman, Martin Dempsey, told neo-con warmongers precisely what they, and ISIS, wanted to hear; conditions in Iraq could deteriorate to the point that he would recommend Obama send U.S. ground troops to fight ISIS. That is contrary to the President’s understanding of what a sovereign nation is; he said “We cannot do for the Iraqis what they must do for themselves. They can secure their own country’s future.” The President also said again that any U.S. assistance will be to “support Iraqi forces on the ground as they fight for their own country against these terrorists.”
Now, Republican warmongers are frantic to claim ISIS, ISIL, or IS (whatever they’re called) pose an existential threat to the security of the United States, but that is precisely what the IS’s leaders hope Americans believe. It is important to remember that it was Bush’s invasion of Iraq that not only aided the Islamic State’s rise in Syria and Iraq, but was a brilliant recruitment tool for terrorists and extremists to join a crusade against America. Further, the Islamic extremists have yearned to create a purely Islamic caliphate in the region for well over four centuries, long before America came into existence. An invasion, or threat of an IS invasion, on America is no more of a threat today as it was over four centuries ago. In fact, the Islamic State (IS) is only relevant to Iraq today and exists because America gave Iran and Iraqi Shias a huge assist in chasing what are now ISIS adherents (Sunnis) into Syria to gather their strength and pursue their centuries-old goal.
It is curious why any American feels this country has a duty to wade into other nation’s internal affairs; particularly with military might. The President and Republicans claim their goal is destroying ISIS to protect innocent Iraqis, but there is about as much chance of destroying ISIS as there is destroying the Taliban in Afghanistan. Surely President Obama, if not warmongering Republicans, understands the idea of defeating, much less destroying, an insurgency or affecting a sovereign nation’s civil war is a futile fantasy. For dog’s sake America failed in Viet Nam, Russia failed after ten years in Afghanistan, America failed after 13 years in Afghanistan and counting, and yet after failing in Iraq, Republicans are clamoring to fail again. ISIS will never be destroyed any more than any other extremist group or insurgency is ever destroyed. They may be dispersed, change their name, and hide out for a time, but an insurgency, like extremists devoted to terrorism is a mindset that is never defeated.
Neo-cons were quick to cite the recent killings of American journalists as proof ISIS poses a threat to America’s national security, but those journalists were not in America; they were in a war-zone in a foreign sovereign nation. It is noteworthy there was absolutely no Republican outrage when American troops killed innocent foreign journalists in Iraq, or hundreds-of-thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians; likely because they regarded Iraq as part of America where targeting citizens is a standard Republican policy.
President Obama is right; Iraq can secure their own country’s future” and “fight for their own country” against ISIS. It is true this country set in motion the rise of ISIS when America gave Iraqi and Iranian Shia Muslims free rein to expatriate Sunnis to Syria to destabilize that sovereign nation, but it is time for them to take responsibility for their own actions and reap the rewards of attempting to purge one Muslim sect from their midst. It is also noteworthy, that despite the four-century goal of creating a purely Islamic caliphate in northern Iraq and Syria, there was no ISIS, insurgency, civil war, or Sunni-Shia unrest during Saddam’s administration. There was also no civil war in Syria where Christians and several Muslim sects lived in peace before Bush’s neo-cons decided Iraq was an American colony that needed regime change.
If Republicans are so concerned about threats to America’s national security, why are they not addressing global climate change? Their precious generals in the Pentagon and Defense Department (DOD) have warned every year for the past five years that climate change is a clear and present danger and legitimate threat to the nation’s security. Their response was forbidding Defense from mentioning, much less addressing a real threat to America’s national security. The answer is simple, really; Republicans’ money machine in the oil and defense industry will not profit from addressing a real national security threat like climate change, and Republicans are well aware that most Americans are too stupid to comprehend they are already suffering from severe weather events, wildfires, and man-made disasters than any threat of “ISIS invading America and killing all of us” according to Lindsey Graham.
After thirteen years, it is high time for Americans to comprehend that Iraq is a sovereign nation and not an extension of the United States. That being said, and established as fact, America must honor Iraq’s demand to keep troops out of Iraq and let Iraqis deal with ISIS themselves. The people of this country have invested trillions of dollars and countless thousands of lives in a sovereign nation that never posed a threat to America’s national security. It is important to remember that no American’s life was ever threatened, or in harm’s way, in Iraq or Syria until Bush Republicans decided that America’s exceptionalism and powerful military unilaterally eliminated Iraq’s national sovereignty that both the former and current prime ministers are desperately attempting to reassert; likely to no avail because part of America’s storied exceptionalism is being imperialistic.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.