“Don’t just stand there, do something stupid.” That seems to be the consensus advice of opinion makers to President Obama [“Obama sets high bar for US military action in Iraq,” Nation & World, June 13]. And, yes, the second comma is missing on purpose.
Most of the actions suggested by these opinion-makers are indeed demonstrably stupid. It is hard to think of what we can do that would not ultimately turn out to be stupid. So the president is to be congratulated for deciding he needs more time and more options. To those that shout that we must do something immediately, I suggest they review a little history.
Iraq spent decades getting itself thoroughly screwed up under Saddam Hussein. We spent a decade helping Iraq get even more screwed up.
I think we can wait a few days to see if there is any action we can take that would move things in a positive direction. Given the broad and deep record of aggressive stupidity that has been demonstrated repeatedly by both Iraq and the U. S., I would rate the chances of finding a less-worse strategy than doing nothing as very unlikely.
Patrick J. Russell, Seattle