James Leroy Wilson's blog

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Please, Please Let This Be the Last Straw

I'm talking about the Blackwater shootings. Let it motivate the Iraqi government to ask the U.S. to end their occupation.

This would a) establish the Iraqi government's independence of the U.S., which is important from an internal political perspective; b) tell the American people that the Iraqi government is ready to provide for its own security, making the war that much more pointless.

At least negotiations for a withdrawal could start, including discussions on the safety and status of Iraqi collaborators. Unless we ditch all our equipment, a withdrawal is going to take several months anyway.

I don't think an exit will be so bloody in any case. Perhaps a million Iraqis have already been killed in the war, and as Lew Rockwell says, "It is also striking how the further geographically you move from US troop activity, the more peaceful the area is."

U.S. politicians are stuck; they claim Iraq will get even worse if U.S. troops leave, so they keep the troops there because they don't want to be proved wrong. But pulling out gives them the opportunity to get the credit either way:

- If the U.S. leaves over a nine months' time and relative peace follows, they can say that they created the conditions for peace and Iraq becomes a "victory." Mostly b.s., but everyone would be better off.

- If full-fledged civil war ensues,that would only underscore that the U.S. wouldn't have been able to keep a lid on the violence forever. To truly support the troops, then, would be to pull them out. But our politicians could still point out that Saddam was removed and democratic elections were held, and that our intentions were noble. Complete B.S., but if such face-saving rhetoric is necessary to get the troops out, so be it.

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