Democratic Rep. Grayson: Americans Oppose Iraq Intervention

Image: Democratic Rep. Grayson: Americans Oppose Iraq Intervention (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Monday, 11 Aug 2014 08:09 AM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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A Florida Democratic lawmaker wants to know why the United States is defending the Iraqi people, saying that the Americans should be heeded on intervention.

"Who is right on military intervention in Iraq: President [Barack] Obama, or the American people?" Rep. Alan Grayson of Florida, a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, wrote in a commentary for USA Today. "I say that it's the people."

Grayson pointed to a July 18 Pew Research Center poll, in which 55 percent of respondents said they do not think the United States has a responsibility to "do something about the violence in Iraq," while fewer than 40 percent said the United States should act.

"We all know the history: U.S. soldiers invaded and occupied Iraq, looking for 'WMDs' that weren't there. That 10-year war cost us the lives of 4,425 American soldiers, left roughly 250,000 with permanent brain abnormalities from IEDs, etc., and cost us $2 trillion — approximately 2.5 percent of our national net worth, accumulated over 200 years,"  Grayson wrote. "Isn't that enough?"

Grayson said the United States pulled its troops from Iraq after that country's  government would not extend the Status of Forces Agreement.

"Now Iraqi leaders want our help again," he wrote. "But the U.S. military is not a yo-yo."

The mission of the war in Iraq, Grayson said, was to build a million-man army to defend Iraq, which was done.

"That force is fed by $100 billion in oil money each year," Grayson wrote, but has been defeated by the Islamic State, known as ISIS and nicknamed by one Arabic official as "a few hundred psychopaths."

Meanwhile, the Iraqi military outnumbers ISIS by more than 100-1, Grayson wrote, "but they won't fight. In one town, a band of ISIS fighters announced their approach with a devastatingly effective weapon: a bullhorn. Iraqi soldiers fled."

And Grayson wants to know why the United States should defend the Iraqis if they won't defend themselves, and when the United States will start solving its own problems.

"This effort makes a mockery of the Powell Doctrine," Grayson wrote. "No national security interest is threatened, we don't have a clear strategy, we're not using overwhelming force, and we have no way out."

The Powell doctrine was named after then-Gen. Colin Powell in the run-up to the 1991 Gulf War.

And while congressional Republicans over the weekend slammed Obama's intervention as ineffective and called for more aggressive military steps, Grayson asked why bombs have to be dropped at all.

"We have to get past this bizarre notion that every time there's something in the world we don't like, we bomb it," Grayson wrote. "Mr. President, when it's our money, and it's our blood, then it's our decision. And now, the American people are saying 'No!' "

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