Comments about ‘In our opinion: In Iraq, the United States has the responsibility to address threats to American interests’

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Published: Tuesday, June 17 2014 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Salt Lake City, UT

I must agree with Pat Buchanan who said:

"And if Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, his 900,000-man army, and Shia militia cannot defend Baghdad from a few thousand Islamist warriors, America is under no obligation to do it for them."

Also, remember please that we left because Maliki told us to get out.

Sandy, UT

Are we foolish enough to think we can rid the world of terrorist? The only practical thing we can do is stop being the world police.

Bob K
Davis, CA

"The invasion that toppled the regime of Saddam Hussein may well have been finished at that point, but the mission of establishing a free, peaceful and self-sustaining government there was far from over."

--- Why was it our place to not only go into another country and force out the leader that held it together (bad guy or not), then assume we should choose their government for them?

--- What about the fact that we destroyed the infrastructure of the country and killed a couple hundred thousand of its citizens? Do people with no electricity or water and a dead son start loving the USA and wanting to be like us?

--- What about the arrogance of thinking we are so great that groups who have been adversaries for hundreds of years will drop that and follow us?

--- And what about the trillions of dollars drained from our country? Our dead boys?

Bush's statement was ignorant. Obama's was "trying to make the best of a bad situation and get the heck out of a place we can't fix"

The DN seems to revel in knocking this President, which I find to be wrong.

Burke, VA

"The United States withdrew too early, reacting more to political pressures at home than to the long-term dangers of an Iraq too unstable to protect itself."

And how much longer would it have taken for Iraq to become stable enough to protect itself. Like any good parent, you do all you can to prepare your children to go out in the world and then you have to let them go. Sometimes you have to force them to go and provide for themselves. The United States, the parent in this scenario, had already given way too much in terms of dead soldiers and our national treasure. In what was an ill-advised venture in the first place, we did more than our part in trying to bring stability and freedom to this part of the world. But at some point it is up to the people of Iraq to take charge and do what is necessary. Clearly the people and government have not done their part in this challenge. Maybe they lived too long under the strong arm of Hussien where much of their daily lives were determined by the restrictions placed on them. They need to get over it.

Centerville, UT

I guess I need to be educated about the risks to U.S. interests. I agree that failed states can be a haven for terrorists, but I'm not sure I see why Iraq is unique in that regard. What other American interests are at stake?

seattle, WA

I think that if we are to be the world's policeman, we ought to have a separate tax placed upon us that separately funds this activity.

Let the Congress and the Senate debate how much we are willing to spend on these "adventures" and fund it as a completely separate expense from the rest of the defense budget. I would suggest either a national sales tax to do so, or a separate line item on the federal tax return, which all American citizens would pay. It is only in this way that each of us knows the full extent of the cost of war.

Oh, and we should probably reinstitute the draft is we are going to be policeman to the world as well. Again, every citizen, male and female, is subject to service. No exceptions to political children, and none of this Air Force reserve nonsense.

Roland Kayser
Cottonwood Heights, UT

George Bush Jr. was warned that invading Iraq could spark a war between Shiite and Sunni Muslims. Apparently Bush was unaware that there were two different strains of Islam that had been warring with one another for the past thousand years. Although the Sunnis are a minority of the population, they had been running the country for the past several decades, and they were not particularly kind to the Shiites. It was obvious to many observers that free and open elections would result in a Shiite government which would seek pay-back for many decades of repression. This is exactly what we have.

It is instructive to note that government of Iraq, even now that they are under siege, is rejecting offers of assistance from Sunni groups. They want Shiites to remain in power, and no compromise with Sunnis will be tolerated. The U.S. has nowhere near enough power to end the centuries old Sunni/Shiite schism.

A Quaker
Brooklyn, NY

There's no fixing Iraq, certainly not by us. Insufficient analysis, and greed for access to Iraq's oil reserves, motivated the American attack on Iraq. Saddam Hussein was, fairly enough, an evil dictator, and many of his actions and tactics in his own country were indeed war crimes in any international setting. But, he was sitting on a volcano of sectarian resentments, in a highly volcanic region of the world.

The US invasion of Iraq pulled the cork out of that volcano, and the violence will continue to escalate, causing untold misery, until it is spent. There is no way to quell a civil war which is part class warfare, part holy crusade, and part retribution. At this point, the US is not party to that conflict. The Shia and Sunni factions are in various measure, terrified of each other, and trying to conquer each other. The vast majority of the country would prefer to just live in peace, but the longer this goes on, the more people will get drawn into that volcano.

No, we can't fix it. We can only make it worse.

Salt Lake City, UT

Also, since you were high energy supporters of the Iraq invasion, why did we invade Iraq?


We withdrew along the timetable set by the SOFA agreement between the Iraqi government and the Bush administration in 2008. Obama did not set our withdrawal timeline, that was done before he even became president. I served in Baghdad from 2003-2004 and the mission was extremely unclear. Now, according to this editorial, you want us all to go back and stay for an undefined amount of time. Which side do you want us to support? The Shia's who are aligned with Iran, make up the majority of the Iraqi population, and want to impose an Islamic theocracy similar to Iran? The Iraqi constitution already states that Iraq is governed by Islamic law. Or do you want to support the Sunnis who are aligned with ISIS and Al-Qaeda? Those are the only two choices. Or do you just want to do the opposite of whatever President Obama suggests? That is likely the reality here.

Ralph West Jordan
Taylorsville, UT

The statement made in the opening of this editorial "In Iraq, the mission still is far from accomplished." is true! Unfortunately the mission in Iraq is an "Mission Impossible"!

It matters not what we do, how much we invest, how much of our blood we shed, or how long we stay, we will never be able to change the hatred among the three factions that want to govern Iraq! Simply put we CANNOT fix it! It has gone on for hundred if not thousands of years!

Every politician in DC knows we are fortunate to be out of Iraq, but as hideous as it is, they will in an effort to demean and discredit the other side of the isle, beat the war drums and profess we should again get involved in another countries internal affairs by using our military might!

Correct me if I am wrong but was it not Malaki who asked us to leave in Dec. 2011, after refusing our offer to leave troops on the ground if they could be assured of immunity. That immunity being declined by the Iraqi Legislature!

We are out and should stay out.

Roland Kayser
Cottonwood Heights, UT

We could occupy Iraq for the next hundred years and the Sunnis and Shiites would still go back to fighting each other the minute we left.

Eagle Mountain, UT

Before we engage in any military action I would like to see the following amendment passed.

For any and all military engagements, the draft must be reinstated. The family members of those in Congress, and any others deemed to have an interest in going to war (such as contractors) cannot exempt their families from the draft who would otherwise be fully eligible.

This way everyone has skin in the game. I feel we would be far less likely to beat the drums of war knowing that our family may very well be placed in danger. We would stop to ask, is invading Iraq worth potentially sending my son to war?

We have an all volunteer force now, that is tired from 14 years of war and several tours of duty. But, we as a nation, seem all to eager to "put them to work again".

salt lake city, utah

"but the mission of establishing a free, peaceful and self-sustaining government there was far from over"

Others have commented on this statement correctly. Let remind everyone of the hubris and historical ignorance it takes to think we can "establish a free, and peaceful Iraqi state"

Remember the state of Iraq is a construct of the post WWI era. The Iraqis have never voluntarily come together to form a state. And if one has any sense of history they know that loose and confrontational societies always revert to authoritarianism for control. Heck even the United States quickly moved from a confederation of states to a much stronger federal system and a federal constitution.

So yes the situation is what it is but please don't DN and anyone asking for intervention, base your thought on the fantasy that we can "establish" a free and peaceful Iraq.

Springville, UT

And so you are saying to send in troops. Your approach didn't work in 2003. It made things much, much worse. Who is writing your editorials? Dick Cheney? This newspaper editorial board baffles me. Talk about naive, irresponsible and ignorant of history. Didn't you also advocate arming the Syrian rebels, the same folks leading the charge into Iraq? Your judgment, and that of McCain, Chaffetz, and the entire Bush neo-con team, is utterly a waste of time and devoid of good sense. We tried your way, and all it did was destabilize the Middle East, feed the snake of terrorism and burdened the West for decades to come. Our national interests are exactly not what you are promoting.

Springville, UT

Reading the comments, it seems to me that the editorial board would do well to listen to its readers. They are providing a lot more insight and common sense than this editorial.

Price, Utah

It needs to be pointed out that it was the Abraham Lincoln's Mission was Accomplished. If this President was called to task like Bush was, especially over this banner flown by a proud crew that his handlers did not get there in time to have taken down we would not be in the mess we are in world wide.
Smart doesn't cut it wisdom does. Obama and Nixon are widely regarded as the smart presidents. Wise not so much. If Obama could just channel Eisenhower on the golf course or Truman's The Buck Stops here name plate; I for one would feel much more better about the country's future. As it is I feel like I did after watching Jimmy Carter's Presidency sink into the sunset. I voted for him and was rewarded with a 12.5% VA home loan rate. So much promise just like Obama and so little result.

Logan, UT

17 comments and counting and nary a one in support of going back into Iraq. The DN apparently didn't learn the first time. These people have been at war for hundreds of years, and thousands of years before that. We are literally a small blip on their history, and the more we try and go in there and impose our will on them, the more we are going to generate enemies. They will unite only to fight us until they can go back to fighting themselves. Let the terrorists terrorize each other. There is no "stabilizing" the Middle East. It can't be done by any outside force. This is one of those things you just never do, like invading Russia--if the Red Army doesn't get you, the winter will. STAY OUT!

Burke, VA

Last Saturday's Washington Post had an editorial cartoon by Darrin Bell showing a dike holding back hordes of people with the label "Centuries of Tribalism", no doubt depicting the situation in the Middle East today. There is one sword sticking through the dike and as President Obama is walking away from the dike there stands a suited elephant (The Republican Party) stating "This never would have happened if you'd kept your finger in there".

This editorial seems to be a first step in blaming President Obama for whatever happens in the coming weeks and months in Iraq. He didn't start the fight and he got us out - as is so often mentioned by my good friend Lost in DC - according to the same timetable that President Bush established. Whatever is happening there now is not because we left too soon. But it might have something to do with the fact that we went there in the first place.

Springville, UT

Are you talking about our borders, or just Iraq?

It's interesting to note that the Deseret News' editorial board has been fully supportive of open borders and amnesty, which clearly create a risk to our national security, as well as our economy. And now after many days of terrorist attacks in Iraq, decide that perhaps there is some national interest in Iraq as well.

In all such situations, when chaos occurs in other countries, it would be wise for us to get our own house in order first.

Our nation has given a green light for many years for people to cross into our country without restriction. Just a few days ago, this paper's editorial board had the gall to say that people who are here illegally or want to come into our country illegally are deserving of jobs here. Their opinion was rendered with total disregard for 90 million Americans who are either without jobs or have given up looking.

Board members smugly hide behind the banner of compassion. However, that compassion is only offered to illegal immigrants, not to American citizens.

There's no greater treason than to do something good for the wrong reason.

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