This comes out of a comment I left in the Already Lost? post. Let’s see if I can start a blog fight and a comment flame war. But please, read the whole post (and this one) before going off.
America leaving Iraq now means leaving the people and the oil there under the control of the Islamic Republic that arises after we leave. (Think about what that means for the women, for example.) It probably means that much of the rest of the Middle East also becomes an Islamic Republic, and their oil (and the resources that oil control brings) will eventually be denied to the West, perhaps even used against the West. And because of the current situation there, leaving Iraq now likely means ever-expanding terrorist war against us — against you and me.
Invading Iraq really, really did NOT make us safer. That is not just a political slogan. This would not have happened had we not invaded, but it will happen if we leave, having invaded. It was not you and me who brought this on, but it is you and me who will pay.
The Bush people like to talk about “facts on the ground.” Well, regardless of how we feel about what Bush has done, the facts on the ground NOW are that he has initiated a sequence of events, and we have to deal with things as they are, not as we wish them to be.
And, yes, a lot of this IS about control of the oil now. Our way of life depends on oil. That includes the fertilizer that feeds billions of people. It includes the gas to transport food and everything else we all consume. This is just today’s reality. We don’t have alternative energy sources in place (compare the waste from nuclear to the consequences of just dumping carbon and other pollutants into the air). We don’t have efficient public transportation. We don’t have energy efficient buildings.
WAIT – before you say it, think about how much you might be part of the problem. Are you absolutely and completely energy efficient? Do you think about the energy consequences of everything you routinely do — and encourage others to do the same? Do you own a hybrid, or take public transportation or ride a bike to work? Do you have passive solar heating installed? Do you keep your furnace off except for a few blast each day? Do you go around your house turning off every light? Do you take elevators instead of stairs? Do you have any electronics on “standby” – using energy even when turned off? Think it through before you say what you were about to say.
So I think we have to SOLVE the Iraq problem, not just leave. Advocating that we just up and leave Iraq is similar to using energy in the wasteful ways we have gotten used to: It puts off the resulting problems for a while, but ultimately makes them worse.
Update – Maybe I worded some of my thoughts better in a comment I left at this excellent post:
I wonder what you think “throw in the towel” means in this case? It sure would be nice and easy and clean if it meant we could just walk away and then everything would be all right.
But it doesn’t mean that. We started a WAR. We CAN’T just “throw in the towel” and make everything OK again. It is WAAAYYY too late for that.
If we leave, what happens to the people in Iraq? Think about what an Islamic Republic means for the women there. Then think about what that means to US. Leaving could mean that the people who are driving bombs into crowds are likely to end up running the country. We will leave behind millions of people who hate us (many hating us for leaving after starting what we started there), but who will then have the resources of an oil-rich nation at their disposal.
[. . .] When we all said “Not in our name!” it wasn’t just a political slogan. It was REAL. Bush started a war in our name, and now they are at war with US – namely you and me. Just leaving abandons the Iraqi people to the mess WE (Bush, in our name) created, and in the longer term possibly brings it here. Perhaps Bush has f**ked us even more than we already think. I suggest we take Bush out of our thoughts for a minute and think about where Iraq is today, and what needs to be done to bring real peace.
I think that restoring order, if done right, would mean much LESS violence than we are seeing now. It means having enough people there to help a legitimate government start tracking down and jailing the people who are setting off bombs, which would enable Iraq to start building a real police and justice system.
We broke it, we HAVE TO fix it. Even if it means restoring a draft. It would certainly be nice if we could only draft the kids of people who voted FOR this war.