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In 2003, during the lead-up to the Iraq war, I told my friends that I supported the United States and coalition forces overthrowing Saddam Hussein. I was young, naive, and ignorant. I didn’t support the overthrow of Hussein based on the possibility that he had WMDs. I wanted Iraqis to be free of an autocrat who tortured them, killed them, and restricted their freedoms.
My quixotic desire for the Iraqis to be liberated came from a deeply personal perspective. I am Iranian. My family, especially my mom’s family, has been subjected over the past 50 years to unspeakable torture, executions, and imprisonment by the Shah’s security service SAVAK and the security services of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
I have always felt so helpless with respect to protecting my family in Iran so I foolishly (and briefly) thought that the Iraqis might have a chance at freedom in 2003. I was wrong, and all I needed to do was look at history, which accurately predicted what ended up happening in Iraq. When the United States interferes in the affairs of another country, it almost always ends up in disaster. Hell, all I had to do was look at my own country’s history. While the Iraq War in 2003 was a much different action than the 1953 coup in Iran (which was planned and executed by CIA and Britain’s MI6), they both have caused grave damage to Iraqis and Iranians alike.
So let’s discuss the situation in Ukraine. Like most people, I’ve watched the images and footage of Ukrainians fleeing their homeland and the aftermath of shelling and bombing by Russian forces in horror.
Obviously, the United States shouldn’t and can’t have boots on the ground in Ukraine. And a no-fly zone would lead to a war with Russia.
But I still feel frustrated watching all of this unfold and feel helpless. And knowing that Vladimir Putin doesn’t mind being isolated (for years, Putin has said that Russia was greatest when it was Autarkic just like Stalin) makes me feel even more frustrated.
So let’s discuss what do you think some viable solutions are for the situation in Ukraine and for dealing with Putin?
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