Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Why Stay

A Sullivan reader nicely sums up my own reasons for not wanting to leave Iraq:
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.

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.
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.

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.


Dan said...

It's a nice thought, Mads, but every single scenario I have ever heard that has to do with the positive result of our presence is utterly implausible in the real world.

What sort of a plan do you think a new and better president can put in place to prevent a shi'ite-dominated battle for this place?

Doesn't your position presuppose that our presence in Iraq, starting from right now, is stabilizing in nature and ultimately good? Are you willing to say such a thing? We have stuck the sword in and decided to stop and argue about the best way to remove it.

Sometimes it is worth looking backwards to examine the sheer stupidity of a decision rather than forward to what might be done to fix it. It gives us the perspective we need to recognize that we are left with only one direction to dig.

Anonymous said...

No one knows what will happen if we leave or if we stay. Iraq is just too volatile. The Sunnis seem to be turning against the bombers, and I suppose Shites may even turn against al Sadr. Who would have thought that the Sunnis would have turned against al Qaida, as year ago. I don't believe any side in this issue. I stopped believing those who hate the people on the other side of the issue from them. Those who can't disagree without savaging their opponents are undemocratic.