Four Presidents Withdrew U.S. Forces and Helped America
by Jerome Grossman
When George W. Bush was riding high, the conqueror of Saddam Hussein, the preemptor threatening to invade any country his intelligence apparatus tells him to, he had dreams of being honored on Mount Rushmore. The Iraqi resistance to the American military occupation has ended that fantasy.
Now is the time for the President to withdraw American forces in accordance with the dictum of General David Petraeus, commander of U.S. Military Forces in Iraq, “There is no military solution to a problem like that in Iraq, to the insurgency of Iraq. Military action is necessary to help improve security – but it is not sufficient.”
Withdrawal would save thousands of American and Iraqi lives but it is difficult for a superpower to admit defeat. But it has been done repeatedly by Presidents whose reputations have not suffered: President Dwight Eisenhower withdrew from Korea, recognizing a bloody stalemate; President Ronald Reagan withdrew from Lebanon after hundreds of U.S. marines were bombed to death; President Gerald Ford withdrew from Vietnam after 58,000 American soldiers died there; President Bill Clinton withdrew from Somalia after 19 American troops were killed there and one dragged through the streets of Mogadishu.
Was there chaos and conflict in these countries after U.S. forces left? Yes. But after the foreigners departed there was one less issue to fight about. Each country must solve its problems in accordance with its history and customs. Did relations with the U.S. improve? Most assuredly, and we are doing plenty of business with them. Withdrawal is the way to make friends and influence people of every background around the globe.