Newspaper article The Tuscaloosa News

AT LARGE: Obama Takes a More Measured Approach

Newspaper article The Tuscaloosa News

AT LARGE: Obama Takes a More Measured Approach

Article excerpt

President George W. Bush's war in Iraq opened a Pandora's box of horrors that are now playing out in the wider region of the Middle East.

The rise of ISIS, a fanatical army of Sunnis bent on carving out a greater homeland in Iraq and Syria-- where the movement was born-- seems destined to result in the portioning of Iraq into three states.

Just as Vice President Joe Biden suggested to much derision 10 years ago, it appears that Iraq is destined to devolve into a Shiite homeland in and around greater Baghdad, a Sunni nation in the north and east-- perhaps encompassing parts of Syria-- and a Kurdish nation in the north east.

And while the tragic war launched by Bush and his cohorts 11 years ago was the catalyst for this devolution of Iraq, if you really want to play the blame game, you would have to go back nearly 100 years ago, until right after World War I, when in the wake of the end of the Ottoman Empire, the British created the modern map of the region.

That arbitrary map, which ignored the interests of the various peoples of the region, was ratified by the League of Nations, the precursor of the United Nations, and has more or less held until today when those interests are finally being addressed by the likes of ISIS and the Kurds.

The Pottery Barn aphorism -- you break it you own it -- famously cited by former Secretary of State Colin Powell in the run-up to war notwithstanding, there now really appears little the United States can do to shape the course of events in Iraq.

Despite the urging of former Vice President Dick Cheney and his war-mongering henchmen, both out of office and still in power with the likes of Sen. John McCain, that we send in troops, President Barack Obama has elected to take a more measured approach.

Obama has only committed a few hundred "advisers" to the region - - technically the first increase in troops in the region in 21/2 years -- and to some of us who remember our disastrous history in Vietnam, the term has some unpleasant resonance.

For it was military advisers who were first sent to Vietnam to prepare the way for the escalation of forces that resulted in a commitment of 500,000 at the height of the hostilities before the fall of Saigon in 1975 and our abandonment of the war in helicopters from the roof of the U. …

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