Independent Voices | PostIndependent.com

Independent Voices

If going into Iraq were analogous to an ill-advised marriage, then to pull out because things get difficult would be a hasty divorce.

Our president, smitten with the notion of completing unfinished business, and a dowry of oil and billion-dollar reconstruction contracts, brought us into a long-term relationship with Iraq in the midst of a war on terror.

We are overcommitted, to the detriment of the war on terror, compromising focus and resources. Regardless, we must follow through on this commitment for better or for worse.

Invading Iraq was wrong, but it would be unconscionable for us now to simply leave the country to anarchy. We need a true coalition of major countries led by the United Nations or NATO to restore basic services and security. Then we should respect the government that the people of Iraq form, even if that government is not formed in the way we would prefer.

If the current president cannot mend the alienation he has caused with our allies, then the American people should elect someone who can.

No. We have succeeded in completely destabilizing Iraq. To pull our troops out now would lead to even greater chaos and probably civil war.

But since the coalition forces haven’t been able to provide sufficient security for themselves and the Iraqi people, they need to be replaced with a legitimate international authority under the United Nations. We need to use diplomatic means wherever possible, and avoid inciting retaliatory acts that further escalate military action.

The brutalities in Fallujah are only a small part of the deaths, injuries, and suffering that have occurred in Iraq in the past year.

I won’t argue the wisdom of the United States sending troops into harm’s way to rid Iraq of Saddam. We are there, so that is pretty much a moot point.

In my mind, the question is whether we can ever hope to bring peace to a country, to a culture, that is infested with those who hate us. I’m as John Wayne as the next guy, but I’m not sure that our continuing presence in Iraq is going to help the situation.

It was an epic blunder to go into Iraq, but it would be unconscionable to turn around and leave the country with the chaos into which we placed it. For good or ill, we should follow through with repairs.

That said, I believe we’ve waded into a morass that may take years and untold billions to get out of. Our leaders optimistically suggest that the various uprisings will have subsided enough to have a democracy in place by June 30, all the while ignoring that the religious autocracy that Iraq is accustomed to is mutually exclusive to a free market democracy. Good luck …

Our government’s decision to occupy Iraq was based on fear, greed and hubris. If we really rode in as saviors of this nation, it’s now time for the United States to step aside and allow the Iraqis to create their own solutions, since our own ideas seem unpalatable to these people.

It is ironic Sunnis and Shiites are uniting to rid themselves of a U.S. occupation force when they would not unite to get rid of a tyrant.



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