Monday, 30 October 2006

Cut and Run?

October 2006 has been one of the bloodiest months for US casualties since February 2005 with some 104 soldiers killed. The in-fighting between Shia militias and the continuing Sunni insurgency is reaching a peak of furious sectarian activity and the figures of total Iraqi civilian deaths present us with shocking reading, even if taken at their most conservative estimate.

In the United States the mid-term elections draw ever closer and the situation in Iraq is being used, rather disgustingly, as a stick by which to beat the Democrats can beat the GOP; who in turn are desperately distancing themselves from Bush and his policies. On face value, with only 19% of Americans thinking that America is winning in Iraq, this may seem a wise tactic but it’s not. All well and good to punish Bush and his party for their mistakes, that is the right of the electorate but it is not fair to punish the people of Iraq.

It was not that long ago ‘Cut and Run’ was used by Republicans as a pejorative term for the policy-paralyzed and distressingly ineffectual Democrats, who could not develop a coherent long term stance on what to do in and with Iraq if you paid them. But now it seems that ‘Cut and Run’ has gained an air of legitimacy on both sides and is being bandied around as if it is in any way a reasonable course of action. It is not.

Let me make this clear: the invasion of Iraq was a terrible mistake, a mistake built on the lie of WMD, on the lie of Saddam as a threat, on the lie of terrorist connections between Iraq and 9/11 and on the selfish desire to gain a oil-rich foothold in the Middle East in some pseudo-imperial desire to spread democracy through the region. But now we are there we have a responsibility to see out our mistake and do everything within our power, no matter what the cost, to put Iraq together; to exhaust every single possible avenue to make Iraq a stable nation once again.

Those that talk of withdrawal to save the lives of American and British soldiers are not only betraying those that have already given their lives to the cause but betraying the Iraqi people, in short, it would be a crime of the highest order. Instead, the troops have to stay, stronger action needs to be taken against the persistent insurgent groups and dialogue needs to be reached with the Iraqi people on how best to take things forward without the total dismantling of the Iraqi state.

We owe that to the Iraqi people and all those that have died in that country.


  1. Wow - Santa Claus lost one of his elves in Iraq. The madness must stop otherwise who will deliver the Christmas presents???

    Oh, the humanity...!

  2. Dan I vote for you as Prime Minister. Your words and research are great.

  3. DHG - The Faster we leave the faster the people there can determine their own fate. Before we cut and run I think we should convene a regional summit so that the people of the middle east can decide how they want to solve their own problems. We should then back out and let them be what they want.

  4. There is no clean solution. I wish we could fast-forward past the violence and find the time when there is, at last, peace again.

  5. There will never be peace the people controlling the chaos are much more powerful than those wanting peace. No matter who you vote for a politician will win and 90% of them are crooks no matter what party they run for. The world is in freefall and the best you can do is look after yourself and those close to you.

  6. The only way this will end is when the people in the killing fields are so tired of killing and getting killed that they decide to quit. External factions bringing weapons and fresh targets in will not change that.

    I think the only thing that we can do is offer a large amount of humanitarian and financial assistance once the country decides to stop killing each other and form some sort of representitve government.

    It's a tragedy, and one that we helped foment, but unfortunately, imposing peace through force doesn't work, and in fact has never worked.

    Just ask the Irish.


  7. Daniel, an excellent analysis, and I agree that the Democrats are using the war at their peril... but I second what Cranky Yankee says. The vast majority of the Iraqis want us gone.

  8. P.S. Happy Halloween! Today I posted a true ghost story that happened to me over 13 years ago. It's not Hamlet's father's ghost, but it is still (perhaps) dramatically appealing. Well, it was dramatic to me, that's for sure! ;o)

  9. Darren: not funny.

    Cranky: as I outlined in my post I want the troops to stay and perhaps to increase, the removal of the troops will not help and if it comes down to a re-entry into Iraq this will be harder.

    Doogie: my good man i can never buy into the individual putting themselves first; that is what got us into this mess in the first place. It is only by standing together that we have true power.

    BP: agree that peace through force never works but the UK kept a massive military force in NI (and still does) but altered its tactics at the negotiating table, there needs to be more compromise.

    Saur: indeed the Iraqi people do want the US/UK forces gone but that is not always perhaps the best answer as they never wanted the forces there in the first place. We have a bad situation we have to make better.

  10. I just think it's funny that the British will do anything America tells them to do. I guess the British are America's bitches.

    The rest of the world realized this was a mistake years ago, yet the British are still there. Why? Because the Americans didn't tell them they could leave yet.

    Bend over, British boy.

  11. Definitely not you: it's not funny, not when the lives of men and women are at risk from the foolish decision our leaders made to follow the US into a false war.

    Laughing is easy, it takes strength and guts to get up and do something about it.


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