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Questions on Iraq troop withdrawal

Iraq seems to be the most divisive issue facing our country these days, inflaming passions on both sides. But am I the only one who wonders whether there is less substantial difference between the two sides than meets the eye?

Given that the war has already been engaged and our troops are already deployed in large numbers, I would classify the two opposing sides into the following broad categories: The "pro-war" side, for lack of a better term, is characterized by "Leave the troops there until the job is finished," and is in direct opposition to the anti-war "Bring the troops home" crowd.

Sounds pretty clear-cut, right? I would, however, divide this latter group into two sub-categories. The first one, which I'll call Category A, believes we should bring the troops home ASAP, the sooner the better (yesterday would be ideal.) Category B wants the troops home as well, but recognizes that the drawdown must be done in a controlled, deliberate way, after certain preconditions are met, so as not to create a power vacuum in the region that will invite chaos and civil war. Hillary Clinton, a Category B person if there ever was one, sums it up this way: "I disagree with those who believe we should pull out, and I disagree with those who believe we should stay without end." (Damn, don't go too far out on a limb there, Hillary.)

I suspect that Category A people are in a distinct minority. Most anti-war people I know tend to belong to Category B. When I begin discussing Iraq with them, it seems we are in strong disagreement at first, but after some discussion of goals, prerequisites and preconditions for withdrawal, I usually find there is little difference between Category B people and the "pro-war" folks, at least in strictly practical terms.

That leaves Category A, and to these people I'd like to ask a question. This isn't rhetorical, I'd actually be very curious to hear your answer. Set aside, for a moment, the fact that you opposed the war from the very beginning. We invaded Iraq, right or wrong, with the full support of Congress and the American public. Granted, many of us know more now than we did then regarding Saddam's WMD stockpiles (or lack thereof), but there can be no doubt that our invasion was a direct expression of our national will at the time.

Given that, isn't there an argument to be made that we cannot leave undone what we've started? Do we not have some obligation to the vulnerable, fledgling new government in Iraq, which is threatened by the forces of Islamist terrorists and Ba'athist remnants? Again, this is not a rhetorical question, I really want to know what you think.


"isn't there an argument to be made that we cannot leave undone what we've started?"


"Do we not have some obligation to the vulnerable, fledgling new government in Iraq, which is threatened by the forces of Islamist terrorists and Ba'athist remnants?"

No. We have an obligation to the Iraqi people. There is some question as to whether this fledgling government was elected fraudulently and whether it has the support of the majority of Iraqis. The problem is that there is no such thing as "The Iraqi People". Iraq is essentially Yugoslavia -- an artificially-carved state populated by groups that have been warring for decades, in some cases for centuries. What we need is for someone who can bring these parties together to hammer out something equally painful or painless for all these groups. This requires diplomacy, however, something the Bush Administration does not know how to do, nor does it have any respect for it. All they know is "Do it my way or we'll bomb you to smithereens."

I don't think the Bush Administration is capable of doing anything other than throw more American kids over there to die. They cannot admit mistakes, they do not believe in cooperation, and their methodology is to try to strongarm everyone into doing it their way.

If they really wanted to fix the problem and get us the hell out of there, they'd send Bill Clinton over there as a special envoy. Say what you will about Clinton, he has diplomatic skills up the wazoo.

But of course that will never happen. Little Georgie send his more-popular predecessor over there? He'll nuke the entire Middle East before he does that.

After Dubya is convicted as a traitor and war profiteer, we should then stop pussyfooting around and conquer Iraq, take it over, and colonize it.

Oh wait, we don't have the birth rate to colonize anything. In that case, I say we create a huge Desert Disney theme park and make the Iraqis wear Mickey Mouse uniforms in the searing heat.

you people are a lotta fun.

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