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March 20, 2006

The Perfect Script for Getting out of Iraq

OK, I think it's becoming more and more apparent that we ought not be there anymore. We can argue about whether we should have gone there in the first place. Regardless, it's fairly obvious that the US has screwed up the post-war effort beyond saving. There were too few troops to ensure stability, allowing scores of terrorists to seep into the country. They lost any moral authority they might have had by creating a climate that encouraged torture. They simply failed to anticapte a number of likely scenarios that are now bitter realities.

Iraq is on the verge of a civil war, while also being a terrorist hotspot for all those who hate the US. Their own government has asked us to leave. Maybe we thought it would be great to plant a real prosperous democracy in the Middle East that would serve as a beacon of light to show them how great it would be not to live under religious dictatorships. But they tried, and they failed, and it's now costing us billions of dollars, loss of life (our troops and Iraqi civilians), and any kind of worldwide goodwill we might want or need.

So I think we need to get out of Iraq.

How can Bush do this without looking like a miserable failure?

First, he needs to address the reasons we went in there. I think he should directly admit that the WMD intelligence was faulty, and that he now regrets that his administration was wrong in what they believed at the time.

He should mention however, that the US wasn't alone in their belief that Iraq had WMD, that other major world powers believed the same. But he could just say, "We were fairly certain that they had them, and honestly any doubt that we had at the time didn't justify the risk associated with being right about our best educated hunches. We had to act."

Oh, and then he should add really we didn't go in just for the WMDs. We went in because we should have gotten Saddam out of their earlier, but we stopped just short. Saddam was a killer, and needed to be brought to justice. And you know who he should have up on the stage when he's giving this speech? The Kurds. All that talk of being welcomed with open arms and applauded like heros actually did bear out in Kurdistan, the province of Iraq that suffered the most under Saddam's rule. They do view the US as liberaters. Why Bush hasn't pushed this so far is crazy.

And he should push for independant statehood for Kurdistan. yes, that's right.

Look, the country is going to collapse into civil war anyway. Bush went into this war to liberate a country and create a state favorable to the US. If Kurdistan walks away as a free nation (they are a distinct people from the rest of Iraq), he will have done that and maybe this will salvage something positive out of this nightmare of an experiment.

And then our troops leave, in the course of 6-9 months, replaced by a non-US led UN contigent that won't be the same terror-magnet the US has become. People may counter "oh and leave the Iraqis completely alone, to be slaughtered." I would counter then that I might have agreed with you 6 months ago, but it's becoming increasingly clear to me that our presence there is adding to the slaughter, and with recent mass executions and bombings we aren't doing much to prevent it anyway.

If the US leaves, Iraq isn't nearly the al queda mecca it's become. If you take away the beer from a bar, soon the drinkers will stop showing up.

I actually think if Bush realizes his mistake now, just into its 4th year, and doesn't extend the confusion and the death, history will treat him more kindly. Vietnam was a disaster, and we should heed the lessons. In the end, Bush will not have enacted a draft (thank goodness), will have kept American casualties relatively low, and will have a strong ally where an enemy once stood. At least they could spin it this way (not mentioning the billions of dollars wasted, the distraction to bringing bin Laden to justice, the thousands of innocent civilians dead, and the hell of our making in Iraq).

But hey, it's better than staying there without any strategy, continuing to burn through people and money while accomplishing nothing.

That's my opinion now.

Posted by jason on March 20, 2006 09:30 PM


I really enjoyed that.

Do you think there's anything to be said for letting the Iraqi's slaughter each other if they want to? (yes, that sounded awful). Should we offer asylum to those who DO want US protection?

Posted by: jd on March 20, 2006 11:14 PM

I know this sounds strange, but a "hands off" approach towards the Iraqi slaughter kind of depends on how evenly matched things are. Will it be more like the American civil war, where the armies fought and fought, both winning their battles and both having a chance? Or will it be like Bosnia, which was basically just genocide and the slaughter of innocents under the guise of a civil war.

Oh who knows, it's not like we can stop the slaughter of innocents anyway, we've proven that so far. Maybe Clinton had the right idea, just fly over and bomb the "bad side" every once in a while. . .

About the asylum, my instinct would be "yes" we should offer it -- and certainly it would cost less then maintaining a presence there. But at the same time, if I'm in al queda and I'm in Iraq and I know the US is leaving, I follow them to the states asking for asylum. Don't know if I want to grease those wheels.

Posted by: jason on March 21, 2006 09:24 AM

Don't know if anyone else heard Bush's speech, but apparently, he disagrees with Jase. We are in iraq for the long haul. He said the decision to withdraw will rest on FUTURE presidents and FUTURE Iraqi governments.

Posted by: Collin - Band Member on March 22, 2006 10:33 PM

virtually assuring that the next US president will be a democrat, considering how unpopular this war is. . .

I'd think the republicans would be angry with him about that.

Posted by: jason on March 22, 2006 10:38 PM

Given the last couple of republican presidents we have had (Bush and Bush) I will welcome the change with open arms.

I was reading recently that the democrats were thinking of running a candidate that is pro life. I think that would be strategically ingenious. In a lot of people's minds, republican = God's party and democrats = the evil party just because of that one issue. There are lots and lots of one-issue-voters and that's the issue, so republicans win those votes by default.

Posted by: Collin - Band Member on March 23, 2006 09:07 AM

Then the liberal democrats would be pissed, but they still wouldn't vote republican.

Posted by: Ian on March 23, 2006 01:51 PM

Don't you think it's worth voting on one issue if that issue is abortion? I think it says a lot about a person's character if they are for taking the life of an innocent human being.

Not to mention, good luck to the pro-life democrat candidate in dealing with the special interest groups like NARAL. They are vicious, and I doubt they will back a pro-life dem now that we have two new justices on the Supreme Court.

Posted by: 40 million little babies on March 23, 2006 09:10 PM

i would like a conservative donkey or a liberal elephant to run. someone a little more in the middle of the road. politically this nation is too polarized to really do any good any where.

Posted by: childish on March 24, 2006 10:13 AM

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