Since liberating Iraq from the bloody clutches of Saddam Hussein, US relations with Iraq have not always been the greatest. US forces and civilian contractors have been trying to help train and rebuild the war torn Islamic nation, but not everyone has appreciated our efforts. Over the past several years there have been a number of instances where members of the Iraqi police or military have attacked and killed Americans that were there trying to help them.
The Iraq government has not always been warm or receptive to all of the US help offered. In some ways I can’t blame them for their cold and distant relations when working with liars and deceivers like Barack Obama, former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and current Secretary of State John Kerry. Like many of us in America and the rest of the world, Iraq’s leadership has probably learned that you can’t trust anything our leaders say or promise.
Knowing this, how you react to learn that Obama and the Defense Department are preparing to turn over a fleet of American Apache attack helicopters to Iraq?
Last week, Defense Secretary Ash Carter told the Senate Armed Services Committee:
“The United States is prepared to assist the Iraqi army with additional unique capabilities to help them finish the job, including attack helicopters and accompanying advisers if circumstances dictate and if requested by Prime Minister Abadi.”
Currently, the Apache helicopters are used to protect the 3,500 US advisers in Iraq, the US Embassy and the Baghdad airport. They cost around $52 million each and can fly up to 175 mph. They can launch laser-guided precision Hellfire missiles, 70mm rockets and their 30mm guns can fire up to 1,200 rounds.
I used to live just a few miles from where the Apache helicopters were manufactured in Mesa, Arizona and had several occasions to visit the plant. I saw a large photo display of the fire power of these war choppers and it was very impressive. I jokingly asked one of the plant managers if I could take one out into the desert and do some plinking. He laughed and said everyone there has asked the same thing. I also viewed many of them in test flights and witnessed their maneuverability and it too was very impressive.
But I have concerns about just turning over an entire fleet of Apache helicopters to an unstable government.
One of the arguments being made for turning over the helicopters to the Iraqis is that their one drawback is being susceptible to ground fire which places America pilots in danger of being killed or captured and tortured by ISIS. By giving them to the Iraqis, it would keep US pilots out of harm’s way.
However the question of their use by Iraq has been raised. Lawrence Korb, former Assistant Secretary of Defense said that giving Iraq the Apache attack helicopters could open a Pandora’s Box. Once they use them to retake the important city of Ramadi, they could turn to use them on other cities like Mosul and then use them against not just ISIS but their own internal oppositions.
“The question becomes is it a small step that will lead to larger steps? What if it doesn’t work?”
I don’t see any good reason to turn over our weaponry to an unstable nation that is still being led by some that hate the US and would love nothing better than use that weaponry against us. After all, one of the core tenets of Islam is to convert or kill non-Muslims.
This wouldn’t be the first time that Obama has turned over US weapons to Islamic governments that consider the US an enemy. When the Muslim Brotherhood ruled Egypt, Congress froze millions of dollars in cash and weapons that were earmarked for Egypt. They did it because of the terroristic and inhumane actions of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. While the aide was frozen by Congress, Obama took it upon himself to free up millions of dollars in cash and provide his terrorist buddies with US fighter jets to use against Egypt’s citizens. There is no guarantee that Iraq’s government won’t do the same thing.
Consequently, I say no to giving Iraq our fleet of Apache attack helicopters. What say ye?