Thursday, July 28, 2005

Kicking the U.S. out of Iraq -- whose job is that?

Over at the New York Times (New motto: "Sucking up to the right-wing since 2000."), Bob Herbert has a depressing column on the boondoggle that is Operation "Stupid Republican Iraqi Quagmire". I'm particularly entertained by this passage:

The point here is that the invasion of Iraq was part of a much larger, long-term policy that had to do with the U.S. imposing its will, militarily when necessary, throughout the Middle East and beyond. The war has gone badly, and the viciousness of the Iraq insurgency has put the torch to the idea of further pre-emptive adventures by the Bush administration.

But dreams of empire die hard. American G.I.'s are dug into Iraq, and the bases have been built for a long stay. [Emphasis added.]

Now, I've asked this before and I'm going ask it again: given the preening smugness with which the Bush administration keeps yapping on about Iraq's "democracy" and "sovereignty," at what point will Iraq be sovereign "enough" to finally tell the U.S. to get the hell out? At what point will Iraq be, finally, officially sovereign so that they have full control over their own country and can decide for themselves who stays and who goes? That question is weighty enough but let's not stop there.

Let's say the new Iraqi leadership tells the Americans to pack up their tents and hit the road, and the Americans say, "Well, I don't think so. We've got all these bases we've built and, you know, we figure we'll be staying a while." Then what?

Well, here's a wild idea -- why doesn't Iraq approach the United Nations for military assistance to oust the U.S.? What's that, you say? Ridiculous, you say? But why not?

When Iraq invaded Kuwait, it sure didn't take long to put together an international coalition to kick the Iraqi invaders all the way back to Baghdad, did it? Remember all these folks? I thought you might.

So what's the difference? In both cases, you have a sovereign Middle Eastern country under occupation by foreign troops. Why shouldn't Iraq have the right to go the United Nations and say, "Excuse us, but we're currently being occupied by a foreign invading force. Could you please put together an international coalition to kick the shit out of them so we can have our country back? Thanks ever so much, here's a number where you can reach us when you're ready."

Of course, I know it would never happen. But it's just fun to think about.

BY THE WAY: The Iraqi leadership wanting to give the Americans the boot isn't just abstract hallucinating on my part -- it's real:

Iraq's prime minister said Wednesday he wants U.S. troops "on their way out" as soon as his government can protect its new democracy...

Al-Jaafari, speaking at a joint news conference with Rumsfeld, said, "The great desire of the Iraqi people is to see the coalition forces on their way out."

Oh, yeah, the confrontation is coming. Count on it.


DazzlinDino said...

Why does the left bitch and moan about the US being in Iraq, then when they saw it's time to start leaving, they find something else to moan about. Civil war is an almost inevitable fact in Iraq now, but maybe, just maybe, the people of Iraq will now stand up against tyrants, now that they have known something of democracy. The US has never tried to push western democracy on Iraq, they know it won't work, but they have many other models to look at....gimme a break already.....

CC said...

Here, let me translate the above for you:

"Man, you liberals. First, you whine that we shouldn't invade Iraq just because it would be an illegal, unprovoked invasion based on flimsy if not non-existent evidence of weapons of mass destruction."

"Now you're whining that we shouldn't just pack up and leave because that would let the country descend into anarchy, civil war and the almost certain deaths of thousands more.

"You liberals are just never happy, are you?"

Do I have that about right?

Kira Zalan said...

Our (gradually reduced) presence in Iraq will be required for the next five to ten years. There is a philosophy that militaries in democracies must adopt. A military force must understand itself to be a tool of the state, subjected to civilian power. The Iraqi military cannot be abandoned until we ensure that they have the necessary institutional ethos of protecting civilian power. An alternative to anarchy could also be a military coup by a self-perceived independent actor.

On the other hand, it seems the media is getting bored with Bush’s resolve. The topic of a troop withdrawal may be just that - a way to stir the pot.

I hope this isn’t just wishful thinking on my part. I hope there are people that understand the consequences of an early withdrawal, and will withstand the mounting pressure of shortsightedness.