Wednesday, February 25, 2009

U.S. Out of Iraq - NOW

U.S. Out of Iraq - NOW
By Jerome Grossman

Barack Obama captured the soul of the Democratic Party when he denounced the American invasion of Iraq as a violation of international law and the United Nations Charter, based on faulty and manipulated intelligence about weapons of mass destruction. His election to the presidency proved that the voters trusted him to end the war as he promised.

While Americans are grateful that this six year old war will soon be over, they wonder at the delay in pulling our troops from Iraq. More than 4000 Americans have been killed; more than 30,000 have been wounded in this war generally regarded as a mistake. Our military leaders say that we should leave "responsibly." What does that mean? Responsible to whom? To the Iraqis, whose public wants us to leave at once? To the corrupt Iraqi government whose leaders want us to stay as long as we supply the dollars?

Our first responsibility is to the men and women of the U. S. military. No more deaths. No more wounds. How would you like to be the last soldier to die for a mistake?

Obama promised a pullout within 16 months. Now, his senior officials tell the New York Times that will be extended to 19 months. How many Americans will be killed or wounded in those three months? Why? To protect the military equipment? Leave it there for the Iraqis. When we invaded, our operation against a shooting enemy took one month. Getting out should take the same one month.

If we are serious

President Obama plans to leave behind a "residual force" to continue training Iraqis, to hunt down foreign terrorist cells, to guard the American Embassy and other American installations. That doesn't sound like much of a withdrawal. The residual tasks are what we have been doing for six years. Right now, there are about 142,000 American military in Iraq and a like number of civilian contractors working for us. The duties of the residual force indicate that at least 100,000 Americans would remain in Iraq in addition to a sizeable number of contractors to help them. Not the pullout we expected. And if the fragile truce between the Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds disintegrates, U.S. forces are likely to stay in Iraq.

The U.S. now has more than 700 military bases in 130 countries. The Middle East contains 60% of the oil on earth. The U.S. has commercial, political, financial and cultural interests in every country in the area, some of the interests valued in the trillions of dollars. Will Iraq become the 131st country? Will the residual force become the U.S. military base? Removing all U.S. troops from Iraq – NOW – may reverse our reliance on military power, restore our international reputation and encourage the use of “soft power” in pursuit of American interests.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Obama never said the invasion was illegal. Doesn't the GOP make up enough shit already about him?

an average patriot said...

First I have to say you did an awesome job here!
Now, Jerome
It has long been the goal as you may remember to have a permanent presence in Iraq.

I am hoping that has changed under President Obama but I am still not convinced of it.

That monstrous expense for they call an Iraqi Embassy not only built as a vanguard to Bush's failed Democratization program, it is also a self contained self sufficient fort for Americans.

Remember Bush wanted a Korea style force in Iraq for years? Iraq is not Korea and that would be Custer's last stand Iraq style!

I heard Obama say he wanted to leave 20 to 50,000 troops there as trainers and advisers and that would work for me.

I see no reason whatsoever why we can not go out the way we went in. Pull right out and head back to Qatar and load and withdraw from there!

Steve said...

First off, leave the populism at home. "Generally regarded as a mistake." When we want to speak of generalities, remember that "generally speaking," Republicans get elected sometimes too. Leaning on the opinion of the public for justification of an opinion is foolhardy.

"The Iraqi Public wants us to leave at once," you say. How about the Kurdish rebels in northern Iraq who were most glad to see us arrive? How about their nearly autonomous government, established due to the low-level guerilla war they've been fighting against Turkey to the north, Syria to the west and Iran to the east? These are our allies here, desiring little more than self-determination. When you leave issues of party rhetoric and namecalling behind, you start to count your allies in the 'human' sweep instead, and recognize that there is no price too large to pay for the removal of bloody-handed tyrants like Saddam Hussein and his two monstrous sons.

The Iraqi public was governed with a policy of 'divide-and-rule,' deliberately playing off of sectarian and racial lines to keep the population so antipathic toward one another that they never united to depose the ruler. When you say that the Iraqi public has one singular opinion, you betray your ignorance of even the most contemporary history of the matter.

You can do better than this. I'm not a "these-colors don't run" Republican. I'm a social-libertarian and a humanist. Expand this issue past party lines and demagogy.

Jerome Grossman said...

Steve,
Kurds are 15-20 percent of Iraq population
Sunni and Shia populace are virtually unanimous in wanting the U.S. to leave as told to me by a U.S. General.
If we justify the invasion of Iraq by the crimes of Saddam, I offer at least 50 more totalitarian countries to invade including U.S. allies in Central America, Saudi Arabia, Zimbabwe, Somalia, Congo, Nigeria, etc. Overthrow of tyrants is best accomplished by those tyranized, not by invaders who may be looking for military bases or OIL.
Jerome Grossman

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