The men proposing the US betrays Iraqi democrats, Kurds and Israelis are sociopaths, not realists.
To betray is to refuse to be bound by the past. This can be an advantage in business – if you base your investments on what’s happening right now, you can make a lot of money. This book says George Soros is such a person – apparently he looks at the world anew every day.
But most humans aren’t like Soros; we’re strongly tied to past commitments.
We’re this way because honoring commitments brings huge survival advantages. For example, if each morning you recompute whether your spouse is optimal, you’ll end up with a diminishing string of partners. Or if you break your promise to watch a comrade’s back in battle, no one will watch yours.
That’s why people who do this are termed sociopaths – they don’t display social behavior. They survive in the gene pool because there’s some survival advantage to being a sociopath provided most other people are not, and that’s why the likes of Soros and Baker are with us.
Sociopaths are poison to armies – here’s the former head of the Brit Army giving a morality lesson to Blair:
“It is our soldiers who pay the cost in blood; the nation must therefore pay the cost in treasure,” he said.
Britain’s troops should be “properly equipped, thoroughly trained, decently paid, and together with their families, decently housed. They deserve nothing less.”
Problems in these areas had led to recruiting becoming a major challenge.
Commenting on the Iraq Study Group’s conclusions, Sir Mike said: “To leave Iraq before the Iraqi security forces are fully able to deal with the current violence would be both morally wrong and a fundamental strategic mistake.”
Note: he talks about morality, not just strategy.
The Brits fought WW1 to honor their commitments to France, and WW2 to honor their commitments to Poland. These wars cost the UK an enormous sacrifice of blood and treasure, but created a Europe that’s peaceful and prosperous. And that’s good for the UK – Europe is its largest export market and its biggest supplier.
Conversely, if the Brits had betrayed France and Poland, they would now be living next to a Teutonic charnel house, and would be much poorer and less secure.
In summary, sociopaths can get big short term gains but long term they get killed. And that’s why most humans behave honorably.
And that’s why we must honor our promises to the Iraqis who died in the cause of the democracy we promised them.