Saturday, September 24, 2005

Let's Not Be Blind When We Call for Withdrawal [Guest Blog: D.C. Dude]

“I have this feeling that world will be destroyed in my lifetime.”

For this student – times are bleak. They are, but weird things are happening.

I read in a news report out of Tripoli, Libya that Moammar Ghaddafi is going to make a surprise visit to Israel. Talk about the ironies of history. Change sometimes appears out of nowhere, kind of like an epiphany.

What about Iraq? Should we completely withdraw? Many friends say, “YES!!” These same friends also say that Iraqi lives are as important as American lives. Hmmmm. Being in Iraq no longer mandates discussion as to whether we should have gone into Iraq, except to expose the Bushies for their deception.

The question now is what to do with Iraq. We are Iraq’s security forces, albeit it does not look very secure. We certainly need a plan for Iraq and the Bushies don’t seem to have one. I do not think leaving in the Sheehan sense is the right thing to do. I believe it will leave a power vacuum in which we will see a civil war that produces the death tolls of Rwanda or the Congo.

But our approach is clearly wrong. We need to beg the UN for more assistance. We need to allow other countries in on the re-building contracts in exchange for troop support. And most importantly, we need to beg the Arab league to commit security forces to stabilize the region. If this is achievable, then we can talk about diminishing the U.S. role in Iraq and saving the lives of Americans and Iraqis. We need to do more for the infrastructure in Iraq, perhaps city by city. Instead of going in and cleaning out the insurgents and then leaving when they’re gone, we need to stay and stabilize the city so that the insurgents do not return.

We seem to be fighting the same battles over and over in Iraq. With troops staying in the city, we can then focuses on stabilizing the local infrastructure and help people receive basic needs like water, electricity and oil. Through time, perhaps word will spread that things are getting better for Iraqis. I believe the step in allowing for three federated states with loads of autonomy is better than one autocratic state. But we also have to accept that Iraq may not be receptive to democracy and think of alternative governments instead of exporting our government.

Although, I agree that getting out of Vietnam was the right thing to do, many scholars say the cost of that was the Khmer Rouge coming to power and committing genocide.

Let’s not be blind when we call for withdraw, let’s make sure if we do it we do it in a way that diminishes the possibility of civil war and genocide. And that way, we will be showing that Iraqi lives are as important as American lives.