Humint Events Online: Iraq

Saturday, August 20, 2005


Not that my opinion counts for anything, but I think should make some statement about what the US should do in Iraq. I can't really complain about the situation unless I have some alternative, as they say.

I think precipitous wtihdrawal would be a mistake and is just not going to happen anyway.

I will assume that the US has long-term plans to stay in Iraq in some form, such as having a major military base. And a major reason for this is to have control over the region and to control the oil, I imagine.

One of the lesser tragedies of this whole god-forsaken war is that no one from the administration has ever been forced to explain just exactly what our long-term plans for Iraq are: do we want permanent bases or not?

Regardless of this issue, there is no question that at some point in the near future we should withdraw most of the troops from Iraq. And I think the best way to do this would be to set a firm deadline for withdrawal. Realistically, this can't be done for at least six months to a year. I would set a firm date of January 1st, 2007 as when all of our troops are gone from Iraq, with a gradual withdrawal between now and then.

I think a firm deadline for withdrawal is extremely important (despite what Bush says) for the following reasons:
1) it shows we have no long-term ambitions for Iraq
2) it gives a clear date for when our soldiers will come home and when they will stop dying
3) it will stop the bleeding of money from the US treasury into Iraq
4) it gives both us and the new Iraqi government a goal to work towards.

Having a firm goal is the best way to settle this issue.

Right now we have no firm goal, and Iraq is in disarray. If we can't get Iraq running on its own in another year or so, then I don't see how it will ever be able to stand on its own.

Of course, I think if we do have long-term ambitions for staying in Iraq, we should say so and say what they are. But I doubt that will happen, absent the press growing some new balls. For some reason the media does not seem interested in this question. Probably because they know the administration doesn't want to talk about it. But perhaps the media will start asking this question soon-- the time is right, the administration is weak and most importantly, the people have a right to know the answer.

Politically, I don't know how long the administration can keep this question unresolved. For the future of the Republican party, they must be thinking about how to get out of Iraq. But what is not clear is what the administration wants to do. And so far, the administration calls all the shots despite what anyone else thinks. How long they can keep this going is not clear, although we are stuck with Bush for three more years and he can pretty much do what he wants-- barring a miracle take-over of congress by the Democrats and impeachment.

As far as what will happen in Iraq, I see nothing but trouble for the US in the middle east until we set a firm time-table for withdrawal. More death, more destruction, morelives ruined.

The thing about Iraq is the US is not going to be ejected militarily, yet there is no realistic way we can beat the insurgency. So all we can do is set a time to withdraw and work hard to make sure the Iraqi government can stand on its own when we leave.


Anonymous muebles said...

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5:27 PM  

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