Saturday, May 26, 2007

Should we stay or should we go

By Libby

Dale at QandO and Oliver Willis had quite the extended conversation in response to Dale's original question and thanks to Dale for linking to my small contribution. I'd add another two cents as long as I'm thinking about it.

What to do about Iraq? My short answer is leave, as soon as possible. The success of the surge is predicated on Maliki being able to cobble together a consensus government and deliver those oil contracts. It's not going to happen. Maliki is seen as a US puppet and rightly so, and Sadr is consolidating his power. Ultimately, I think Iraq will become a Shia theocracy and we're just going to have to deal with it. But I digress. The question is about withdrawal.

I don't think it will necessarily be as bad as the doomsayers are predicting. Why are we assuming the violence would increase? Are the factions holding back because we're there? Maybe, but I doubt it and a fair amount of the violence is targeted at US "collaborators." Of course, the civil strife will continue, but we're simply not stopping it by being there and I see no real reason to expect it to get much worse if we leave since we would be eliminating one cause.

As for Iraq becoming an AQ base -- it already is, not to mention the best training camp they have. They come and go at will and every day that they force us to stay is a win for them. It makes them look strong. But they would lose a lot of prestige on the Arab Street if they were just killing Iraqis without the excuse of collaboration.

And the idea they could "take over" Iraq is laughable. They're a terrorist group, not an army. If they could do it, they would have done it long ago. Even if by some impossible chance they tried, I expect that would unite the Iraqis in a way we haven't been able to in these four years. A common enemy will buy a lot of consensus.

Of course, as a practical matter, it doesn't really matter what any of us think. The only thing that's truly clear is that we're not leaving as long as Bush is president.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

1,000 gi's killed since LAST memeorial day. the answer is obvious. end it now

1:39:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

I'm down with that Lester.

6:01:00 PM  

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