These are problems that can only be fixed with more funding and resources, and now is the time to respond. Not only are the displaced battling to survive each day, they don't know how long they can stay wherever they are, if they will need to flee again or if their lives will ever return to normal. When and how this ends, nobody knows. What we do know is that humanitarian aid is desperately needed to keep people alive. The road ahead is long and the international community needs to step up now to save Iraq before it falls beyond repair.
American intervention has broken pottery all over the Middle East. Every time the U.S. attempts to repair its last accident, it increases and spreads the mess. It is time for a different approach. One in which Washington does not attempt to micromanage the affairs of other nations. In which Washington practices humility. This would not be isolationism. America, and especially Americans, should be engaged in the world. Economic and cultural ties benefit all. Political cooperation can help meet global problems. Humanitarian needs are varied and manifold. Military action sometimes is necessary, but only rarely -- certainly far less often than presumed by Washington.
The decision to abandon the policy of aggressive containment, and launch a war to overthrow Saddam has led us to the precipice of what we had been attempting to avoid for a quarter of a century -- the breakup of Iraq, and dangerous instability for the foreseeable future, including the distinct possibility of a terrorist safe haven in the Sunni tribal lands. And, whether we agree with it or not, the U.S. will forever be blamed for all of the negative consequences. Relitigating the past is obviously painful for those who were so terribly wrong, and whose actions led to what is arguably the most egregious foreign policy error in the history of our country. But it is necessary as we consider the way ahead.