The Watch

The Watch is concerned about the increasing pressure towards feudalism in the United States from corporations, social regressives, warmongers, and the media. We also are concerned with future history concerning our current times, as non-truths which are “widely reported” become the basis for completely false narratives.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Cutting and Running is better than Staying and Dying

Retired General William Odom recently put up a list of all of the bad things that this administration says would go wrong if we got out of Iraq. Odom argues in each case that either a) the opposite is true and leaving would actually make things better or b) the bad thing is already happening.

Here's a bit of the article:

If I were a journalist, I would list all the arguments that you hear against pulling U.S. troops out of Iraq, the horrible things that people say would happen, and then ask: Aren't they happening already? Would a pullout really make things worse? Maybe it would make things better.

Here are some of the arguments against pulling out:

1. We would leave behind a civil war.
2. We would lose credibility on the world stage.
3. It would embolden the insurgency and cripple the move toward democracy.
4. Iraq would become a haven for terrorists.
5. Iranian influence in Iraq would increase.
6. Unrest might spread in the region and/or draw in Iraq's neighbors.
7. Shi'ite-Sunni clashes would worsen.
8. We haven't fully trained the Iraqi military and police forces yet.
9. Talk of deadlines would undercut the morale of our troops.

But consider this:

1. On civil war. Iraqis are already fighting Iraqis. Insurgents have killed far more Iraqis than Americans. That's civil war. We created the civil war when we invaded; we can't prevent a civil war by staying.

For those who really worry about destabilizing the region, the sensible policy is not to stay the course in Iraq. It is rapid withdrawal, reestablishing strong relations with our allies in Europe, showing confidence in the UN Security Council, and trying to knit together a large coalition including the major states of Europe, Japan, South Korea, China, and India to back a strategy for stabilizing the area from the eastern Mediterranean to Afghanistan and Pakistan. Until the United States withdraws from Iraq and admits its strategic error, no such coalition can be formed.

Thus, those who fear leaving a mess are actually helping make things worse while preventing a new strategic approach with some promise of success.

2. On credibility. If we were Russia or some other insecure nation, we might have to worry about credibility. A hyperpower need not worry about credibility. That's one of the great advantages of being a hyperpower: When we have made a big strategic mistake, we can reverse it. And it may even enhance our credibility. Staying there damages our credibility more than leaving.

Ask the president if he really worries about U.S. credibility. Or, what will happen to our credibility if the course he is pursuing proves to be a major strategic disaster? Would it not be better for our long-term credibility to withdraw earlier than later in this event?


Read the whole article, it makes a lot of sense.

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