Children are often willful, out of control and want what they want when they want it. Trying to reason with a two-year-old is pointless. Firm, reasonable limits need to be set. Naturally, the child is enraged, but soon he understands that he can’t run into the street because he might get hit by a car, and he can’t punch his baby brother just because he wants to.

Our position in Iraq is somewhat similar to dealing with a two-year-old who refuses to listen. The US stance is that there must be a coalition government formed with both Sunnis and Shiites. Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki has refused and appears committed to a Shiite Iraqi leadership. What should we do?

The more all of us learn about this ancient Islamic conflict, the more we get how logic won’t prevail. And now Iran and Syria are supporting their new best friend, the Iraqi Shiites, to eliminate the Sunni insurgents. Oh, and aren’t we doing the same!

If reason won’t prevail, we should do what we’d do with a two-year-old. Set limits. Pull our advisors out of Iraq and let the prime minister, or whoever replaces him, do whatever he wants — but without us.

If we only knew how complicated the issue between the Muslim rival factions was, chances are we would have found another solution to the “weapons of mass destruction” other than invading Iraq. But, NOW WE KNOW! Let’s use this knowledge and not get any more soldiers killed or maimed for a cause that just won’t respond to reason.

If people are determined to die for their religious beliefs, the least we can do is stay out of the line of fire. Let’s get our own House (of Representatives and Senate) in order. We have our own out-of-control two-year-olds who won’t listen to reason.

Art Smukler is the award-winning psychiatrist and author of Chasing Backwards, a psychological murder mystery, Skin Dance, a mystery, and The Man with a Microphone in his Ear. All are available as paperbacks and eBooks.

About artsmuklermd

Award Winning Novelist & Psychiatrist --- Like psychological novels? Check out Chasing Backwards, a psychological mystery, Skin Dance, a mystery, and The Man with a Microphone n his Ear... Dr. Smukler has won the prestigious Golden Ear Award for excellence in teaching at Harbor-UCLA Medical center and excellence in writing fiction at The Santa Barbara Writers Conference. All books are available as ebooks and paperbacks. You can find them at or
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  1. I completely agree with this strategy. We tell our small children to “work it out”. Let’s do the same in the middle east. “Not my monkeys, not my circus”.

  2. nkossmd says:

    Mike has said what I believe, so I will just say “ditto” (but rest assured I am NOT one of Limbaugh’s dittoheads!!) However, I will go one step further than Mike and say that if those fools want to kill each over some stupid religious difference, I say, “Go for it!!” But leave us out!!

    • artsmuklermd says:

      I wish we had the power to be left out.

    • Mike Busman says:


      I’m also in agreement that if folks that have been killing each other for a 1000 years or more, let ’em do it as I doubt there is any logic that will be able to stop it. Unfortunately, our government no matter which party is in power will not leave us out. I believe I heard on the news that the government will be providing “moderate” rebels in Syria with advanced automatic weapons. While I applaud the existence of moderates in the quagmire, I believe they lack the aggressiveness and killer instinct of the insane ones and will drop their weapons at the first sign of danger. Then our advanced automatic weapons will end up in the hands of the very insurgents we want to keep from gaining power.

      As Art has noted, our foreign policy for decades has been inept, incoherent, and inconsistent. Unfortunately there is no silver bullet or magic pill to create change overnight to our country’s many challenges. I believe it will require a great change in our political system, such as a moderate, middle of the road third party that represents the majority with logical alternatives to business as usual. This could take a generation or more to accomplish.


      • artsmuklermd says:

        Well said! Moderates by definition are usually people who are willing to reason and negotiate. Right wing know-it-alls very, very difficult to deal with.

  3. Mike Busman says:


    At least this is one post I don’t have to begin with “Art, where do I begin”?

    All I can say to your post is here, here!! Let’s keep our young men and women out of the line of fire in a situation that has no logical conclusion. We need to somehow pressure our representation in Washington to get their act together and learn how to play nice in the sandbox instead of insisting the Iraqi government do the same in what I am afraid is an impossible situation for them.

    At least our politicians only disagree, drag their feet, or do their best to block progress. There’s still hope, though. They aren’t killing each other over religious, political, philosophical, or other differences.

    My best,


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