[I’m not going to cite sources. I’m just going to give my thoughts.]
Many people believe that the United States should execute a precipitous withdrawal from Iraq. I disagree. Indeed, I think that’s one of the dumbest things I’ve ever heard!
The Wrong Time to Withdraw
There’s little debate about whether our reasons for going into Iraq were flawed. I agree, we shouldn’t have gone in. But we’re there, that decision was made years ago, and we need to find the best path forward from where we are. And now, right as Iraq is on the upswing, right as Sunnis in many provinces are joining the fight against extremists, right as Iraqi and U.S. casualties are doing a nose-dive, to withdraw in an instant and send Iraq back into the chaos they are just now escaping would be a crime, a sin.
The Wrong Reasons for Withdrawal
The chorus crying out for a quick and supposedly-painless withdrawal is simply the common position nowadays. I don’t blame those who are part of that tide, as there largely appears to be no reasonable alternative. Once anti-war furor gets stoked, the rage of the populace is hard to resist. This isn’t helped by the perceived and real incompetence of some who support the continuation of the war. The two sides of the false dichotomy seem to be 1) get out now, and 2) slog on eternally waging a war on behalf of sectarian parties. Most people don’t know that in the year since the voters rebuked Republican leadership for its handling of the war, a third option has silently been made possible. In both Iraq and Afghanistan, competent handling of not just military but also social and economic issues by the likes of General Petraeus, in addition to the benefits of the force surge, have made plausible 3) a gradual withdrawal as Iraq stabilizes and progressively assumes more of its own affairs, until American military presence is either minimal or zero.This is clearly the ideal. For now we need to stay, but we need to be smart about what we do while we’re there.
So to those of you who wish us to get out of Iraq ASAP, be careful that you are not playing into the hands of leaders wishing to politicize our remaining involvement in Iraq for purposes of their own political power.
Precipitous withdrawal suffers from utter disregard for the value of the lives of Iraqis. In the name of saving American lives and treasure, some are willing to sacrifice the lives, treasure, and future of an entire people. And we a nation whose freedom was forged by “Lives, … Fortunes, and … sacred Honor” willingly spilt to gain it.
Is it honestly right to—having barged in and stirred up all sorts of violence and bloodshed in Iraq—simply take off while things are still in worse shape than we found them in? It’s like crashing a party, throwing all of the pizza out the window and smashing all of the drinks onto the floor, then saying, “Hey guys, I just got a text saying I need to go home” and stepping out the front door with a smile and a wave, leaving devastation in your wake.
Do Unto Others…
I believe firmly that we as a people will be held accountable for how we treat other peoples. Fleeing Iraq because the only skin we’re thinking about is our own would be heinous negligence. This is my opinion, and here I stand, against the tide.