I have watched a LOT of news the past few weeks and everyone is in a tizzy about Isis or Isil or Daesh or whatever you want to call it, and all the cable news networks are making sure we know that all the options are bad and that whatever the President or Congress does it will suck.  But that’s because the concept of just conquering Iraq is never floated.  Why?  Because somehow we forgot what we are good at.  “Nation Building” is not our strong suit.  But we rule at “State Building”.

Just look at all of America.  We conquered the whole thing.  From sea to shining sea we came right in and took it.  And we didn’t just steal it from people who were here originally.  We bought some from France who had also stolen it, cut deals with Texas and California so they wouldn’t become their own countries.  Hell we even got Hawaii and it is almost as far away from us as Europe.  And even if places don’t become states (I’m looking at you, Puerto Rico) you almost never hear of people getting all bent there or in Guam and having wars and whatnot.  They just do what they do.  Which brings me to the whole Iraq thing.  I have some definite ideas about why conquering Iraq would be good for everyone.

  1. All our other plans sucked.  From air strikes to toppling Saddam to staying there too long to actually leaving, our entire batch of plans have just left everyone worse off than before we started.  So since taking an old plan and insisting this time it will work better (or suck less) is dumb to start with, we need to just reset the whole thing.
  2. If America doesn’t do it someone else will.  If you have a whole country full of oil do you think the rest of the world is going to let a whole bunch of head choppers get their mitts on it?  No way.  And whoever else grabs it will not give the non-head choppers a fair shake.  If they are a new American states then they get the same rights we get here, even if they don’t want them (at first anyway).
  3. We are always talking about how it is easier to fight the terrorists there instead of here.  But if there WAS here then it would be wayyyyy easier for us to get them.
  4. Oil.  Yes, we would steal the oil.  But we wouldn’t give it to the oil companies.  We would make it like Alaska, where the people in the states get paid out by virtue of the fact that they happen to live on land that has a lot of oil on it (that we sold).  It is going to be a lot tougher for people to be mad about being conquered if they keep getting checks every month.
  5. Further to point 4, it will be a lot tougher for people to get mad about all sorts of things if there is real investment in the new states.  People will still have religious bigotry (like we have here) but they will also have protections they didn’t have before.  And if people have jobs and opportunities (and Obamacare) they are going to be able to focus on new things.
  6. Iraq is supposed to be the counterbalance to Iran.  Remember before the first Gulf War when there was a really long war between Iran and Iraq?  Did you ever wonder why?  You think Saddam and his big army was there because his Sunni neighbors wanted him to be?  If Iraq is America then Iran will have to jump back a little bit.
  7. There are 19 provinces in Iraq.  If each one becomes a state then we will have 38 new Senators and (based on population) about 50 new Congresspeople which will make the Democrats and Republicans FREAK OUT.  How can that be bad?
  8. Puerto Rico will petition to become a state and win this time because otherwise the flag will have an odd number of stars and look weird.
  10. In 100 years or so the 19 states that comprise the Middle Eastern part of America, citing the distance from the main country and a desire to more ably represent their own values, will pull a Scotland and go for independence, but they will win.  But as a part of the victory we will keep our military bases there and the generations of Americans who populate the new county of Persia will have institutions then can depend on and a definite lack of head choppers.

So, while usually I don’t think we should conquer places (that’s a lie I almost always do) in this instance I think it is the only thing that makes any sense. Otherwise all we will be doing is making everything worse.