This will appear in the Bernice Banner, Bernice, Louisiana, USA, the week of 6/1/2015.

Looking back more than twenty years and we can see that we had an opportunity for unification and thus becoming closer to achieving world peace than at any other time in the 20th century; and we let it slip through our fingers. In 1989 Communism was collapsing. The Belin wall came crashing down in October of that year and the other Eastern Bloc countries soon began throwing off their yokes of communism. Then on August 2nd, 1990, Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait. Russia no longer blindly supported the Iraqi regime but preferred to align with the moderate Arab countries and the West. Had Russia aligned with Iraq, the diplomatic playing field would have been drastically different.
Soon after Hussein’s invasion the coalition forces were pouring into Saudi Arabia and thus the world witnessed handshakes between military units that had been sworn enemies only a short time earlier. Who could have imagined that Syrian forces would be fighting next to the Americans and British. Small detachments from such diverse countries as Senegal streamed to the desert while diplomats and generals worked on the details of what was to be known as the “Mother of all Battles”.
Finally the battles began and Israel is hit by SCUD missiles. A brilliant tactical move by Iraq to bring Israel into the war and thus splinter the coalition forces, perhaps even causing some Arab factions to turn on their Western allies. The hatred of Israel is so great in the mid-East that the thought of Israel hitting Iraq could have thrown countries on the side of Iraq in the middle of the war. An even more brilliant diplomatic move was made by the Bush Whitehouse to keep Israel out of the war; the first time that Israel had been attacked but did not retaliate. America refused to provide codes to Israel that would identify coalition aircraft as being friendly thus if Israel had retaliated it risked shooting down coalition planes.
Many a country that saw the United States as a paper tiger following the Viet Nam conflict stood awe struck and watched with open mouths as the major weapons of the eastern bloc were surgically turned into flaming infernos as superior training, planning and weapons systems were unleashed on a totally unsuspecting Iraqi army. Then it was all over. The planets had aligned for the perfect storm to usher in a period of understanding, bridge building and peace. Unfortunately this great opportunity was not fully understood and we let an opportunity of global proportion slip through our fingers. John Locke, 17th century writer and a man whose writings influenced the authors of the Declaration of Independence wrote, “But when the actual force is over, the state of war ceases between those that are in society and are equally on both sides subjected to the fair determination of the law, because then there lies open the remedy of appeal for the injury and to prevent future harm.” There was a brief period of peace following the war but unfortunately we didn’t understood what could have been.
Eventually we returned to Iraq and Saddam Hussein was captured and hanged. We won the war but lost the peace. When World War II ended America remained in both Germany and Japan and we are still there. In Iraq, political positioning caused America to pull out as quick as possible and a vacuum was created. ISIS now controls half the country as well as half of Syria and we will eventually see the effects of noninterventionist when ISIS targets the soft underbelly of America.

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