Letter - Room needed for diplomacy in Iraq


I would like to reiterate the Union-Bulletin’s editorial (6/23/2014) opposing more military involvement in Iraq.

President Obama is saying the right things, but by sending 300 military “advisers” to Iraq, he is undermining his own words.

We have already witnessed the failure of a military intervention in Iraq; it is time to use diplomacy to create lasting peace and stability.

As Matt Southworth, an Iraq War veteran, has said, “What do we expect airstrikes or a few hundred troops to do that 160,000 — the troop count at the peak of the U.S. war in Iraq — could not do? ... Since the United States started getting involved with Iraq in the 1970s, we have often been a part of the problem, not a part of the solution to Iraqi political, ethnic, religious and resource issues.”

Instead of causing more problems in a very complex situation, the U.S. needs to take a deep breath and create space for diplomacy, while minimizing harm to civilians.

These are the first five steps the US should take:

Reject another U.S. military intervention.

Halt unconditional military aid to Iraq.

Convene a conference to establish a comprehensive arms embargo to Iraq and Syria (involving Saudi Arabia, Iran and others).

Publicly support a political settlement between key parties in the conflict.

Increase and better allocate humanitarian funds to address the humanitarian crisis.

We have a lot of resources we can use in this situation, but the military is not one of them.

Annie Capestany

Walla Walla


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