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Withdrawal from Iraq, or the Greater Mistake


Withdrawal from Iraq, or the Greater Mistake
Editorial

President George W. Bush said in Idaho, "I think immediate withdrawal from Iraq would be a mistake." Immediate withdrawal might well be a mistake. But withdrawal will come, and the greater mistake is in delaying it too long.

The occupation of Iraq has been fraught with mistakes, from the failure to stop looting and the order to disband the Iraqi army to setting the size of the occupation force too low. But to send more troops, as some Democrats suggest, would compound mistakes. The president argued in Salt Lake City that the deaths of 1,864 American soldiers in Iraq was an argument to keep fighting. He said, "We owe them something. We will finish the task that they gave their lives for."

To our dead we owe honor and respect. To the living we owe good judgment. To send our soldiers to Iraq is to tell them their risk is America's gain — that exposing them to death is necessary. That is now doubtful. There is little evidence to back up the president's claim that if we don't kill the Iraqi insurgents there, we will face them here.

In Salt Lake City the president said, "Our military strategy is straightforward: As Iraqis stand up, Americans will stand down."

This formula lets the Iraqis set the timetable for the United States. That's backwards. The United States sets the timetable for what it does. The date should be far enough in the future to give the Iraqi government a chance to extend its authority and soon enough so that it will not waste time.

Setting a date means that some opponents will wait us out, but they will outlast us anyway. Iraq is theirs, not ours.

We should tell the Iraqis we are not asking for military bases, which clearly they do not want us to have.

The president suggested that getting out of Iraq would weaken the United States. On the contrary: America is weakened by the casualties, the debt and the political strife. That we have trouble recruiting soldiers — and allies — is evidence that war is what weakens us.

Nonetheless, war would be necessary if there were an enemy called "Terror" that attacked us. But terror is a tactic, not an enemy, and is employed by different people for different aims.

Al-Qaida attacked us almost four years ago. Iraq did not.

2005 Seattle Times

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I wonder why it takes years and billions of dollars to train an Iraqi army to fight the insurgents. How many years and how many billions did it take to train the insurgents? This, we can't leave until we train an army, is total bull shit. The insurgents are a rag tag bunch of guerillas and the local people who have a stake in their country can and will do a lot better job of fighting them then we or our puppet regime will ever do. And thats the real reason Bush wont leave isnt it; he wants to set up a puppet regime that he can control and the only way that will happen is with a well trained mercinary army to force itself on the hostile population. Democracy, bull shit, freedom bull shit; if little George Stupid really believed in that he could bring the troops home tomorrow and let the Iraqi people, who have a vested interest in there country, solve there own problems in there own way.

Great points you made! Totally agree.

The Seattle article is right about getting out of Iraz. It will be worse later, and after more damage, more unnecessary deaths, and more good money thrown after bad. It was a mistake going in, and two mistakes don't make a right.

The choice now is not between good and bad, but between bad and worse.

The Seattle article is right about getting out of Iraq. It will be worse later, and after more damage, more unnecessary deaths, and more good money thrown after bad. It was a mistake going in, and two mistakes don't make a right.

The choice now is not between good and bad, but between bad and worse.

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Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

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