I have a question for those who advocate that we “just leave” Iraq: We wrongly invaded, destroyed their infrastructure and killing hundreds of thousands. Do we pay reparations? Do we pay to rebuild the infrastructure of Iraq? Do we pay death benefits to the families? What TERMS do we offer to end the war? (If you think that wars just end when one side decides to “just leave” I suggest opening a history book.)
Do we prosecute the people who started the war? What do we do if Iran and their Taliban-like government ends up in control of the region?
Seriously, where does the thinking go AFTER “just leave?” Is “just leave” about more than getting the horror of this out of our faces for a while? My own opinion is that “just leave” ignores the dimensions of the mess that Bush has created.
What am I proposing? Yesterday I wrote “I think it is urgent that the US not have invaded Iraq. We should do absolutely everything we can to prevent the United States from having invaded Iraq.” Apart from that, I’m proposing that we come to grips with the depths of the real mess we are in. Just leaving might be the right thing to do – AFTER an informed debate that looks at the various LONG-TERM potential outcomes, including the rise of a Taliban in control of the resources of an oil-rich nation-state. We have depleted our military. What if Korea erupts? What if something happens between China and Taiwan? South America? Rep. Murtha pointed out that these are serious reasons to withdraw from Iraq “as soon as practicable.”
The best option just might be to retreat now and start building the military we will need to deal with a Taliban-Iran-Iraq superpower ten or twenty years down the road.