Journal-Times (Grayson, KY)

Editorials

June 18, 2014

Is history repeating itself in Iraq?

June 18, 2014 — If last week’s news from Iraq left you with a sense of déjà vu, you are not alone.

“Déjà vu” is defined as “disagreeable familiarity or sameness” and that certainly fits what appears to be the emergence of another Islamic militant group which took control of two major cities in Iraq.

The worst part of that scenario is the shameful conduct of Iraqi security forces trained and equipped by the U.S. before we pulled out in 2011.

In the cities of Mosul and Tikrit, news organizations reported that government soldiers and police officers removed their uniforms and handed over their weapons, vehicles and facilities to the masked fighters of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant or ISIL.

President Obama said initially that no American troops would be dispatched to Iraq but a U.S. aircraft carrier and two other ships later were sent to the area.

Yesterday it was reported that nearly 300 Marines were on standby.

Pentagon planners are said to be developing a list of military options for the President to consider.

Those no doubt will include air strikes, including unmanned drones which, unfortunately, can kill indiscriminately.

There is the potential of destabilizing other governments in that volatile part of the world and Iraq is among the oil richest nations.

U.S. military forces left Iraq after fighting there for eight years in U.S. led War on Terror.

The cost was 4,500 American lives lost and billions and billions of dollars, not to mention the future medical costs of the tens of thousands of U.S. veterans who suffered serious injuries.

Sectarian violence has been a fact of life in that part of the world for centuries.

In our view, America should sit this one out.

We’ve already learned that love of freedom and respect for others can’t be imposed on those who don’t want either.

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