By Jerome Grossman
• The puppet regime in Iraq wants U.S. troops to stay to protect it from the insurgents and other dissatisfied groups, to supply money, and to act as a cover for "the most corrupt government in the Middle East.”
• The Sunni Awakening Councils in Anbar Province are heavily subsidized by U.S. dollars supplied by the U.S. military. We pay 90,000 Sunnis $30 a month and supply them with weapons, a subsidy far higher than the average wage in Iraq.
• The U.S. invasion was in violation of international law and the United Nations Charter, hence in violation of U.S. law.
• Al Qaeda in Iraq is only a small fraction of the insurgency, between 1000 to 2000 fighters. It is fueled in large part by nationalist and anti-foreigner sentiment.
• The so-called bloodbath after U.S. withdrawal is questionable and is being used as an excuse by the Iraqi puppets and the U.S. hard-liners for an extended occupation.
• The U.S. residual force to protect infrastructure, to train Iraqis and to fight insurgents is a continuation of the occupation by another name and must be repudiated.
• The U.S. must not maintain any military bases in Iraq.
• U.S. withdrawal must not depend on the situation in Iraq and the region because there will always be a reason to stay.
• There is no way to prevent Iranian influence on the Iraqi Shiite government. From an imperial standpoint, this is the greatest U.S. mistake. During the Saddam Hussein Sunni regime, Iran’s Shiite government gave sanctuary to Iraq’s religious and civil Shiite leaders. When President Ahmadinejard of Iran visited Baghdad recently, he was greeted by Iraqi officials with kisses, embraces, music and flowers.
• The U.S. should try to make a deal with the Taliban in Afghanistan whom we subsidized after the Soviets left. Let us try to avoid the failed experiences of USSR and UK in Afghanistan.
• Some smart policemen have suggested treating terrorism as a criminal conspiracy rather than a military attack, more effective and less expensive in lives and money. Regimes across the globe will be overthrown. We must not react automatically in defense of the status quo.
• The financial costs of the Iraq war are staggering. That has special relevance now given the recession, the banking crisis, the aging U.S. infrastructure, the health-care crisis, etc. The Iraqi government has billions of surplus funds due to the high price of oil. They should be paying for U.S. forces in Iraq. Instead, the U.S. continues to finance the Iraqi government with outright grants rather than loans to be repaid.
• For diplomatic credibility, for decent respect for popular opinion at home and abroad, for avoidance of a boycott of American products abroad, it is crucial that the U.S. places a total ban on torture, live up to the Geneva Conventions, eliminate the rendition program, and eliminate the secret prisons and the assassination program.
• There are in Iraq about as many U.S. sponsored contractors as there are U.S. troops. Many are armed and trigger-happy, not really accountable to the U.S. and Iraqi governments. They should be withdrawn with U.S. troops. The jobs should go to Iraqis, now suffering from high unemployment, even if they are less efficient, in the interest of social stability by reducing unemployment.
• The Iraqi Congress voted by a large margin for U.S. military withdrawal. Yet, a Status of Forces Agreement has been negotiated between Iraq and the U.S. delineating rights and procedures for American military. This agreement was passed by the Iraqi Congress but was never submitted to the U.S. Congress for approval, a violation of the U.S. Constitution and an indication of a long U.S. occupation.
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