Why Liberating Iraq has Failed
I was really outraged to learn that in Iraq, as many as 58
students were stoned
to death for dressing "emo"--in tight clothes in a Western style.
The students have been targeted in part due to perceived homosexuality. Religious
thugs lure them into a park and assault them with concrete bricks, aimed at
their torsos and heads. It is difficult to tell what role the Iraqi government
played in it, but they certainly played a hand. According to several news
reports, the Iraq Moral Police posted on the Iraqi
Ministry of Interior's website that they plan to eliminate the
"emo" trend, giving implicit authorization to the thugs.
Isn't this the country we "liberated" just 9 years
ago? That liberation is quickly proving to be a complete failure. I propose
there was a glaring problem with the so-called liberation: the United States
went in, toppled Baghdad within 3 weeks, and then said "Well, whatever
government you democratically want to elect is fine with us." †The thugs
who have ruled and terrorized this part of the world for centuries mock any
ideal of a democratic vote. They easily maneuvered their way into power. A religious
government was voted into place that did not value freedom, rights, or keeping
If there is ever a desire to bring "freedom" to a
country; that a military's primary or even secondary purpose in fighting a war
is to save and liberate the people of another country--and are you listening
those who want to spill United States blood and treasure
for people in third world countries?--then actual freedom needs brought
to that country and not democracy. Do you know what "democracy" brings? It brings
about a government that, by majority vote, agrees that a person can be punished
for mere dress. If many people vote that this is a punishable crime; then the
minority or individual that wants to dress as he or she pleases has their right
taken away. This is exactly as it is in Iraq where people by law must wear
Islamic dress. Stoning young students to death for how they dress is the
logical outcome of democracy. Take a look at it; grovel in it; be reminded of
exactly what it means.
What is that you say? They can punish dress but they cannot
do it without a trial? You just advocated the 6th amendment of the
United States; a staple of the objective law and constitutional republic that
is the United States--which is distinctly not a democracy.
After invading Iraq, we should have finished the actual job
of establishing freedom. Freedom means freedom from physical coercion. These are some of the rights the Iraqi people would have had freedom been established:
The right to free speech
The freedom of religion
The right against search and seizure without probable cause
The right to a fair and speedy trial by a jury
The right against excessive punishment
Although a sensitive topic, especially for those in the
Middle East, I would also include the right to bear arms. It would have been a
game changer for the students stoned to death for how they dressed.
But doesn't that make us big meanies? Won't people protest
that we are forcing our way of life on them? This is the mantra of
leftist multiculturalism; that all cultures are equal; and the ideals of
freedom are no better or worse than tyranny, just different.
First, imagine if we just did it; we said "Ok, Iraq,
your government will have freedom of speech." Who would protest this? Who
in their right mind would say, "No, I don't agree with that, they should
democratically decide if they want free speech or not." Or, how about the
right to a fair trial? If we said, "Yes, your government will sponsor
the right to a fair trial," who would disagree with this? It is obvious
that only tyrants that would disagree with these things. †
It is impossible to "force" freedom. It would be
different if we said, "Our way of government dictates that everyone must
be a Christian and we are going to demand your country do the same." This
would be dictating how every person in that country should be. But
freedom doesn't dictate anything; it only offers a choice. Freedom says,
"Any person in your country can be any religion they want." Anything
else is distinctly not freedom; indeed as in Iraq where Islam is now forced.
And that is the beauty of freedom: If a person wants to be Islamic, they still
can be. If a person wants to dress in an Islamic way, they still can. They just
can't force another person to do it. The fact that some people are offended by
Western style dress be damned!
If the United States is going to invade another country for
the explicit purpose of liberating them, I propose it had better get good at
establishing a constitutionally-bound free government afterwards. With as rich
of a history as the United States has in freedom and with as sophisticated as
our military and intelligence is, this is a skill we should be able to develop.
I do not think it would be difficult and, if done right, would be a rather
stealthy process in which most of the protests that we are "forcing"
something on the country were thwarted. Certainly, bringing free speech and
fair trials to a country can be packaged in a sunny, benevolent wrapping. If
the United States can't do this, then it needs to permanently cease ever
"saving" the people of another country ever again.
I will concede however that, even if the United States had
the backbone to do this, a problem of how to keep the peace arises. Freedom
tends to only work when the majority of a populace is fundamentally peaceful
and the only crime that needs stopped is pockets here and there. If enough of
the populace is criminal minded, then the labor and resources needed to go into
security increases and may be so great that the government cannot do it.
In Iraq, is enough of the population peaceful enough that
peace can be maintained? Is the Iraqi government equipped to handle the crime
that is there? Is the government willing to handle the crime that is
there? If you have ever read God
Willing by Captain Eric Navarro, whose mission when in Iraq was to train Iraqi
soldiers, you will understand my pessimism.
To get freedom to work, it requires that the people who are
freedom and peaceful minded be bigger, stronger, and more well equipped than
the criminals in society. If you are opposed to guns, you are a fool. Being
opposed to guns means that guns will be taken out of the good guys' hands and
put into the bad guys' hands. Criminals don't care about what laws or rules you
want to enforce on them; they do what they want and positively thrive under any
kind of prohibition.
This makes the fact that these killings happened after the
United States, with the cloak of security it provided, left Iraq all the more
pertinent. It also underscores how these killings are taking place: it is random
unidentifiable thugs who are murdering people while the government sits back
and does nothing, perhaps giving a weak verbal condemnation but also giving the
go ahead with statements on their website. The government doesn't have to carry
out the violence to see it happens; it just has to do nothing. It cannot be
emphasized enough: strong security is the backbone of liberty. Without
it, any Constitution is just a piece of paper.
If the government refuses to clean up crime, who can?
Perhaps the victims? Perhaps if the young students had the right to bear arms,
the thugs would think twice.
As far as invading Iraq, I will not forget that, 10 Ĺ years
after 9/11, there has not been one terrorist attack aimed at the United States.
There have been riots at United Nation building in other countries, but these
are spontaneous acts of violence, not terrorist attacks. I really want you to
marvel at this: not one terrorist attack. And by terrorist attack, I don't mean
only at the level of 9/11 but any whatsoever. This was distinctly not the case
pre-9/11. In 1993, there was the bombing of the World Trade Center. In 1998,
there were bombings at the U.S. embassies in Africa. In 2000, there were the
bombings of the USS Cole. Since 9/11, when our country developed a more robust
foreign policy, there hasn't been anything of the sort since--10 years out!
Something about our foreign policy has been working; it is clear that
punching noses in the Middle East has had value.
But in as far as our goal was to "liberate" Iraq
or Afghanistan or now Egypt, it has been a failure. Until the United States
learns how to bring actual freedom to a nation, all efforts to save the rest of
the world must stop.
March 11, 2012