The argument by Ryan Crocker, dean of the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University, to re-engage in Iraq is a load of crock (“Re-Engage in Iraq: At Some Point the Extremists Will Come After Us Here,” June 20 Perspectives). We apparently learned very different lessons from our disastrous invasion. His lesson is that we have to occupy the country until its factions learn to play nice with each other. My lesson is that America has absolutely no competence in nation-building, and we shouldn’t even try.
I also learned a very different lesson from 9/11. The originators were Saudi Arabians upset by the American military presence in their country.
That sounds suspiciously like the situation that Mr. Crocker wants to create in Iraq. Iran, on the other hand, had no part in the attacks, even though it’s been a place with the “space and security” to organize such attacks for 30 years, and certainly no lack of hatred for America. My lesson? Stay out of other countries.
Mr. Crocker is fomenting the same fear that his employer, George W. Bush, used to steer America into a problematic war in Afghanistan and a stupid war in Iraq. America should not be afraid of Islamic extremists because we are quite capable of defending ourselves here. United Flight 93 proved that within hours of the 9/11 attacks, but that lesson seems lost on everyone.