Nunc Scio
Thursday, August 18, 2005
  'Peace Mom' Movement Focused on Symptom, Not Disease
My heart goes out to Cindy Sheehan, as it does for everyone who has lost someone in a confused and confusing 'war'.

Still, I can't help but feel the participants in last night's vigils are missing the point. There'a a tendency among progressives to demand the return of all American soldiers from Iraq. This would be a disaster. The United States made one hell of a mess, and they have a clear moral responsibility to clean it up.

In other words, they're stuck. While a military victory over the insurgency is practically impossible, American troops are needed on the ground to prevent civil war, while Iraqi leaders desperately attempt to broker some kind of a political system. An immediate withdrawal of troops would destroy Iraq. It would also violate America's responsibility to Iraq, a responsibility created the moment American boots hit Iraqi soil.

The continuing calls for withdrawal also ignore another moral duty- punishment of the person(s) who got the United States into this mess in the first place. Spin it however you want, but the President of the United States (or as Homer Simpson calls him, Commander Cuckoo Bananas) lied to his constituents, put some pearls on a fundamentally flawed PNAC agenda, and sank his people waist deep in a quagmire. If a little fellatio in the Oval Office can get you impeached, surely this qualifies for regime change a little closer to home.

The United States can't leave Iraq. But they can get rid of the man who put them there- George W. Bush.
I agree that the troops need to stay, but there is an alternate argument that isn't illogical or emotional:

That the presence of the troops is now more destabilizing than stabilizing because they are

1. 'Proof' of occupation, thus must be fought
2. A focus for violence
3. Affecting Iraqi culture in a negative manner.
Good Call, Mark...Obviously, the Iraqi occupation is flawed both strategically and tactically. But I think the partisan nature of the insurgency (predominantly Shiite, with foreign fighters) makes this less of an "Iraq against America" and more "Parts of Iraq against America". I'm sure the majority just want peace and security, like most folks everywhere. I think the US needs to look at ways of reducing its military footprint. Training Iraqis is a good start, if they can ever get that program off the ground.
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Jack of all trades, master of none, Graeme is many things to many people. Unfortunately, none of them find him very life-affirming in any capacity. He is a freelance writer, broadcaster, amateur cryptozoologist and occasional political commentator late of London, England and now based in Toronto. Most of the time, he's confused. And a little hungry. But mostly just confused and somewhat uncomfortable writing in the third person.

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