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Friday, Mar 27, 2015

Woods: No easy answers in Iraq

Guest Columnist


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You can only imagine the anguish the parents, spouses and friends of our troops who sacrificed life and limb all those years to eradicate al-Qaida in Iraq feel now.

Many towns and cities are being recaptured and returned to jihadist rule with little resistance or opposition from al-Maliki’s government.

We can debate forever our involvement in that Middle East nation, but the bottom line is we’re involved. We can not reverse history. To have all those young people sacrifice so much just to return to the past is a travesty. There are lives and limbs buried in the sands of cities like Ramadi and Samarra, places that are etched forever in the memories of those who fought to eradicate them from al-Qaida and now are falling like dominoes back into the hands of another radical Islamic scourge.

Sadly, people fleeing the bloodshed are sympathetic to the jihadist and are saying they are better off under their rule. What does that say to the Iraqi government we our supporting?

It took billons of dollars to drive out al-Qaida only to have corruption and greed take its place in these cities and turn its populous against the Iraqi government we support.

When you replace one government with another just as corrupt, the outcome never will be good. We stood by and let this happen and now we’re seeing the outcome. The tide is turning and it might be to late to change that outcome now. The years of throwing money at a corrupt government, one which was lining the pockets of a few in power and ignoring its people, are about to come back to haunt us.

Now that there is a threat to that country’s current government, the calls for help are echoing in the halls of Congress and the White House. This is not going to be any easy fix, and this time it might be too late to have any desirable outcome.

After so many years of war, the Iraqi people are tired of conflict. They are willing to accept any form of government as long as there is some form of normalcy and they’re left in peace.

Remember, even when living under the thumb of the tyrant Saddam Hussein, the country had some comforts such as running water and electricity — simple things that still are not available in some areas after years of the present regime.

With storm clouds gathering once again the common Iraqi people are on the run trying to escape the onslaught. We find ourselves once again between a rock and a hard place. What do we do? Ignore the onslaught and forget the price we paid during the last 12 years, or get involved again supporting a corrupt government that in the end might turn on us like it has since the troop withdrawal.

The Iraqi leaders’ true colors are becoming more apparent every day. May God help us.

J. T. Woods is a Brooksville resident. Email him at

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