July 10, 2006
-- by Dave Johnson
I have had two objections to the idea that we can "just leave" Iraq. One is that US and British troops are pretty much the only buffer preventing all-out civil war. The problem with this is that Bush is in charge and incompetent, so we do not have enough troops in Iraq to prevent a slower meltdown, which is occurring. The responsible thing to do is beg the UN to take over and send enough troops and promise to pay for the whole thing.
My second objection is that the idea that you can start a war and then call "time out" is ridiculous. Imagine of the Japanese had decided to "just leave" that war after the invaded Pearl Harbor - that just was not in the cards. And it probably isn't in the cards for us either. Sure, we can "just leave" Iraq but that doesn't end the war we started. It just brings it here.
Here is an idea. We created the mess. We destabilized the country and unleashed the forces that are tearing the country apart now - with the civilians in the middle. What if we offer to bring anyone who wants to come here transportation and a place to live? (Provided they are not in one of the militias, etc.) And then, maybe we CAN "just leave."
I mean, with Bush in charge, anything you or I suggest is about as likely to happen as anything else (not), so why not propose the world? It doesn't make any difference.
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I think a big part of the problem is that we're thinking about the situation using false premises. As long as we think about this as a war we're giving ourself false choices. At this point this isn't a war but an occupation. A war requires an enemy and governments that can surrender and make treaties. That's how wars end. The actual war was over once we toppled Saddam and disbanded his army. We are not at war with the government now set up in Iraq. We can't end the problem there by requiring that they surrender to us and sign a treaty.
The problem now seems to be that there are various militia groups fighting each other and to a great extent we utilized them ourselves. But are they fighting each other? There don't seem to be any real pitched battles between militia groups, except when we are leading one of them, so much as actions not necessarily associated with the militias that seem to consist of individuals or small groups blowing things up. There's not much chance of treaties or surrender in a situation like this. Recognizing the various militia groups and requiring them to surrender might not change things very much, either. Unless we look at this situation sanely and rationally for what it really is, we can't solve it. The reality seems to be that the various religious sects in Iraq hate each other and all hate us. We don't seem to be accomplishing much there beyond providing lots of opportunities for graft and corruption for American companies.
"You raped her. You destroyed her virtue as a woman. You have to marry her."
The choice seems to be between withdrawing now leading to civil war, and withdrawing later after many more casualties, leading to civil war.
Posted by: John M 307 at July 11, 2006 11:16 AM
"The choice seems to be between"
The CHOICE is whatever Bush does. You and I have no choice.
So if we are going to advocate something it should eb the right thing. The right thing is begging the UN to bring in a million troops, send every single kid to good schools so they don't grow up to follow this idiocy, ofering everyone who wants to move from the place we screwed up a free house and travel expnses ... things like that. And of course we pay for all of that because it is our fault.
Posted by: Dave Johnson at July 11, 2006 2:41 PM
Is this really you, Dave?
Sometimes my morale is very low, too. I've been handed solid evidence that speaking out loses friends, and produces little effect.
But I am NOT about to abdicate my choice to Bush. In fact, I want us out, thoroughly out, and out now and without delay. Bush, etc. has proven that we can't keep our hands on anything without f*ng it up, and to continue to think we have some credibility to control the process--inviting the UN in, spending our money on Iraqis, buffer a civil war, and so on--is hubris.
The only solution is to leave. This solution is sad and embarrassing, but we ARE the problem. I suggest we declare Mission: Accomplished for the idiots who need their egos intact, and get out.
Of course, some enterprising soul could introduce a bill that earmarks the same amount of money used to occupy Iraq for donations to the UN to take care of the mess, or give money directly to the Iraqis to do with it as they see fit. But as long as our fingerprints are on this, it's King Midas in Reverse. Get out, stay out, and donate without demand to those groups who actually give a damn about Iraqis.
To not follow this attitude (suggesting we set it up first, then leave) is the control-freak American creeping in on you. And as it's been shown: we don't break, then buy it. We break it precisely to own it. Then point to how broken it is to justify breaking more.
> It doesn't make any difference.
You lie. :-)
The Pentagon is actually calling for the Geneva Conventions to be (gasp!) followed. Withdrawal is actually on the table. These conversations were inconceivable a year ago.
We make a difference. We all already have. Because of us, we are not currently fighting a new war in Iran, as all the arguments to do so are falling flat. We're winning. But nobody is going to thank us; we'll have to thank ourselves.
Sorry for the long comment. But STF matters to me; it's part of the people power that stops wars from happening in the first place. And it saddens me that you'd say it makes no difference.
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