Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Exit With Honor

Read Juan Cole's post at Informed Content on getting out of Iraq.
The US needs to get out. Its troops are a constant provocation of the local population, stirring insurgency rather than quieting it. They have never developed the kind of local intelligence or even language skills that would allow them to do real counter-insurgency. When hot civil war nearly erupted in February, US troops could not intervene between Sunnis and Shiites anyway, without becoming a party to it. So what good are they in such a crisis? Better to get them out of harm's way. Moreover, the Bush administration is both incompetent and corrupt, and therefore cannot hope actually to accomplish anything good in Iraq. The longer the US is there virtually unilaterally, the worse the final crash and burn is going to be. But the US has a responsibility, having thrown Iraq into civil war, to make the best arrangements it can for the aftermath.

The six neighbors have the highest stakes in Iraq-- Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Jordan, Syria, Turkey and Iran. They should immediately be called to a 6 3 meeting with the United States, Britain and the Arab League to begin the work of constituting a post-US multinational force that might hope to keep ethnic and religious militias from marching against one another in the thousands and killing milions.

Exit is easy. Exit with honor will be the hardest thing the United States of America has ever done in its over two centuries of history. Exit without honor will endanger the security of the United States for decades.


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