Marie Braun of Women Against Military Madness and about 50 supporters protested the continuing military buildup in Iraq at their weekly Wednesday afternoon vigil on the Lake Street bridge from 5 to 6 p.m.
As of the first of July, 750 “advisers” are going back into Iraq to help stop ISIS from advancing on Baghdad. The New York Times reported June 26 that more than 1,000 private security guards will go to Iraq to protect those advisers. That’s in addition to the 600 military already in Iraq to protect our embassy and the thousands of American security guards protecting other American assets there. The U.S. is sending $500,000 to “good” rebel forces in Syria because we think we can distinguish them from the “bad” rebel forces. The Taliban is advancing in Afghanistan in areas we thought we had secured. The U.S. is launching drone strikes in Pakistan and Yemen. The U.S. is sending a billion dollars in military aid to former General Sisi’s government in Egypt even though he has jailed journalists and condemned opposition leaders to death. We’ve provided at least $28 million in military assistance to the Ukraine military that is controlled by the Neo-Nazi Svoboda Party, and we’ve committed to provide an additional billion dollars in military assistance to other countries in Eastern Europe. We’re not going to make things better by intervening in other countries. We’re just going to make things worse. What would we think if a foreign country gave money and military aid to a political party in our country? What would we have thought if another country had taken sides in our Civil War? Why would we think the folks in Ukraine or Yemen wouldn’t feel the same resentment? The Sunni uprising in Syria and Western Iraq is as much about poverty as it is about religion. There has been a terrible drought in the Sunni areas of Syria, and the government has been unable to help. Farmers moved into the cities and became desperate. The Shiites in the south and east in Iraq get rich revenues from oil. Even the Kurds in the north have oil, but the Sunnis in the west don’t. So, the religious coloring of the ISIS march on Baghdad may be only superficial, and the root causes may be economic. Evangelical Islam is a natural reaction to social and economic disruption in the Middle East, just as evangelical Christianity is a natural reaction to social and economic disruptions in America. It’s best we stay out of it. Didn’t our first President warn us about the dangers of foreign “entanglements”?