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June 17, 2005

Another Reason We Can't Leave

-- by Dave Johnson

Kevin is right:

This is what I'm afraid could happen again. Democrats will push for withdrawal, eventually they'll get their way, and the country will blame them for the resulting chaos and defeat. Dems will argue that it would have happened anyway, but the public won't buy it. The Republican party, which should get the blame, will get off scot free.
We just can't accept a solution that means Iraq falls into civil war. We have a moral and legal responsibility not to let that happen. Any resulting blame will rightly fall on our own shoulders if we do.

Posted by Dave Johnson at June 17, 2005 10:17 PM

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Comments

Dave, if what they got over there isn't ALREADY civil war, then I'm a supermodel.

We don't have the troops to provide real security even if we weren't being led by President Norman Bates. We don't have the cultural expertise or the credibility to facilitate a political solution. In short, we don't have any way of making it better. All staying does is kills more soldiers and civilians for nothing.

Posted by: jimBOB at June 17, 2005 11:45 PM

Agreeing with Kevin Drum. Doesn't that tell you something right there?

You're disgracing yourself on your own terms, Dave! This is the Rush-might-say-something-bad-about-me neurosis you always warn against.

OUT NOW! RIGHT FUCKING NOW!

Posted by: richard at June 18, 2005 2:00 AM

Dave, yes we have a moral and legal responsibility to do it right in Iraq. But that does not mean staying there with 17 bases and Haliburton and Bectel raping and pillaging the people and its land. We need to withdraw our forces (both contractors and military) honestly, something that this administration is vehemently opposed to,and couldn't do if they wanted to because they are so embedded with their lies.
How very arrogant of us to assume that Iraq cannot govern itself. This IS the cradle of civilization. Let's get our coalition
to help with humanitarian efforts and support the Iraq agenda. Not the Bush/Cheney fiasco.

Posted by: mo at June 18, 2005 4:34 AM

It's sort of like toilet training. The only way to train the kid is for mommy to stop wiping the kid's behind and say if you make a mess, you clean it up. This is Bush's mess, he's got until the end of 2008 to clean it up, and no excuses. He was determined to fight two wars in two separate countries, and like it or not, and regardless of whether we got conned into it or not, both Republicans and Democrats voted for the Iraq war. Big kids wipe their own asses. Adults have the maturity to take responsibility for their mistakes.

Posted by: MJ at June 18, 2005 5:58 AM

First of all, I think Kevin's analysis on this is rather silly. The Republicans will blame anything and everything on Democrats. If you hadn't noticed, they (Frist et al) are blaming Democrats (Durbin et al) of aiding and abetting the enemy right now. If we fail in Iraq, even if the Democrats roll over and do everything Republicans want, the Right-wing will blame the left. The Democrats. The liberal media. The left-wing. The Deaniacs. Michael Moore. Fat people. Poor people. The unreported but verifiable WMDs in Iraq. Anything, anyone, and everything but themselves. If the Republican Party, in such a situation, could get off scott free, it would only be because of their powerful propoganda arm. The answer to such a situation isn't to avoid making tough decisions. It's to make sure you have an infrastructure to fight the propoganda. For instance, do you really think getting out of Vietnam was a bad idea and it was because of liberals that we lost Vietnam? And note the Deep Throat historical revisionism, too.

Now, you say, "We just can't accept a solution that allows Iraq to fall into a civil war." That's a very nice sentiment. Theoretically, it makes sense and would be the responsible way to do things. I agree with it on a personal basis, but here, it is misapplied.

This situation resembles less "Taking a dump and wiping your bum" and something more along the lines of piling a bunch of furniture in the middle of a fireworks store, pooring gasoline over the pile, telling everyone around, "Don't worry! This won't spread to the rest of the store!" and striking a match over their objections. Now, standing inside as the fire explosively grows around you, you say to everyone, "Well, we just can't accept a solution that allows this store to burn down! We have a responsibility to put that fire out! We broke it, now we got to fix it!" Problem is, a) that's impossible and b) there's no fire department to call up.

The solution needs to be outside such small "I took a dump and now I wipe my ass" boxes. The situation is much bigger than that.

Posted by: Bribes at June 18, 2005 7:11 AM

There are multiple ways to think about this.

First, the House Resolution submitted this week was bipartisan -- it included a Republican cosponsor. Dems need to work on adding truly angry Republicans to their side. They're out there.

Second, Dems could embrace Reagan's legacy in the Middle East. When Lebanon was falling into civil war, the US basically decided to cut its losses and run. The parallels aren't perfect, but this could go a long way to undermining the Republican rhetoric.

Third, Dems need to emphasize the tradeoffs. So long as 130,000 American troops are bogged down in Iraq, the US cannot as easily threaten to attack North Korea or Iran (though either state could be the victim of an air attack). Those states likely are developing nuclear arms.

Also, 1 billion bucks per week is being spent in Iraq that could be devoted to what Dems should be calling the "real war on terror," against al Qaeda.

Posted by: Rodger at June 18, 2005 8:24 AM

This immoral war is sucking the life out of our country. The war is stripping us of the last vestiges of honor and reputation. And the war is a fundamentally destructive process, a self-defeating process, and is not in any way positioning us to defend ourselves from terrorism. We don't belong in Iraq. If we stay there much longer, following our abominable President, we will only wander ever deeper into degradation and brutality.

When should we have left Vietnam?--before Tet or after Tet?--before Agent Orange?--before Mai Lai?--before there were 2 million Vietnamese dead?--and 56 thousand American dead?

Let the Republicans blame the defeat on those of us who oppose this war. I personally don't think it will do them much good. The truth is that our defeat in Iraq is a fact. It has already occured and is not something connected to the schedule of troop withdrawals.

This is like Vietnam alright, and yet, if we can admit that it was wrong , and we don't resort to the sin of trying to cover it in glory retroactively, there may still be some hope for our country, and the world will accord some respect to us on that point.

Let's be honest with ourselves at last. Those who committed an act of aggression do not demonstrate responsibility by remaining as occupiers. Such nations must retire from the scene. They go home and mend their own fences. They pay reparations.

Posted by: Copeland at June 18, 2005 2:36 PM

"There is NO MORE IRAQ. There will be three territories." --Henry F* Kissinger, early 2004 (unaware he was being recorded)

The policy has been civil war from the start. Allowing Bush to remain is allowing HIM to bring about a sufficient conflict to create another false justification: to 'allow' the country to divide.

And that is GENOCIDE. It's not just rearranging the furniture, or 'best for everyone,' or 'in service to demockery.'

Bush is the problem, and the policy is cruel and evil. As for 2008 -- after the 5-4 Court rules the 22nd amendment is unconstitutional, Bush will have 20 more years to improve things in Iraq and around the world, for his circle of corporations.

Posted by: Paul in LA at June 19, 2005 4:28 AM

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