One of the main arguments against an American pullback or pullout is the likelihood of a genocidal and brutal civil war that would "force" the U.S. to come in to stop the slaughter.It's that simple; I don't want scores of Iraqi people to die. This morning I was listening (NPR) to a story told by an American soldier who was treating two Iraqi kids (a 6-year old boy and his 7-year old sister). The girl told him through an interpreter that she watch both her parents die. By the time he got them to the hospital the girl was clinging on to him and didn't want him to leave.
I think it is appropriate to assume that there would be massive killing. I've heard arguments to the contrary and I've heard arguments that Syria/Iran, etc. would not permit it, but assuming that it would not take place is as foolish as assuming that everything will be just fine. So we should assume that there will be incredible slaughter, religious dislocation and depravity - at least in the non-Kurdish areas - if we get out.
Query: Do we have the discipline to stay out and to be presented night after night with scenes of uniminaginable slaughter that we will be accused of being "responsible for"? Because if we don't have the discipline - or the cold-heartedness, if you will - then that's a strong argument to continue with Bush's approach.
War is horrible. We can't leave the Iraqi's to kill each other unless there's no hope left. I'd rather maintain status quo for 2 more years until we can get a competent president who can put in place a regional plan that works. Sorry Hillary. It sucks for Democrats to have to clean up giant deficits and messy wars after Republican presidents. I'm all in favor for Krugman's suggestion that Democrats should stop fixing the deficits only so that Republicans can keep cutting taxes. But basic human decency means the same strategy can't be applied to unnecessary wars.