This chaos and craziness is a consequence of one country conducting a war of choice and trying to impose change from the outside. ("Militants' gains in Iraq pose threat of broad regional ramifications," June 14)
The United States invaded Iraq 11 years ago and broke the country and its infrastructure, its cities and whatever small social contract the Iraqis had with one another. Before the invasion, the Iraqi Sunni Muslim minority had a lock on power; afterward, Shiite Muslims took control. So they fight.
The thought of going back into this place beyond sending humanitarian aid is unthinkable. This is not our fight, and we fought there for too long and killed too many people.
There are reasons that other regional powers might want to be involved in Iraq, but the United States has no such good reasons. Don't forget that after all the smoke has cleared, the victors still have to govern a country of 36 million people.
With the insurrection in Iraq, the United States gets a second chance to act prudently and avoid any military entanglement in that country's internal affairs.
To try again to enforce our political preferences in Iraq by force would be to confirm to ourselves and the world that a hallmark of insanity is to keep repeating the same behavior while expecting a different result.
No useful purpose could be served by airstrikes or reintroducing U.S. troops into Iraq to shore up Prime Minister Nouri Maliki's sectarian regime. The lesson from our experience in Iraq should remind the Obama administration of the disaster that awaits it in Afghanistan if it pursues a similar policy there.
If military equipment and advisors from the United States cannot prevent the Iraqi army from collapsing in the face of a determined insurgency, is President Obama confident the same scenario will not repeat itself in Afghanistan?
The time has passed when we can use military power to impose our will in the Middle East and elsewhere.
Rancho Palos Verdes
While president, George W. Bush said that it would take 50 years to evaluate his decision to invade Iraq.
I think we have an answer much sooner than Bush said we would.