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December 15, 2005

Juan Cole: Even If A Democratically Elected Iraq Government Requests Us To Withdraw, That's Still a Bad Thing

All this guy wants is a withdrawal. But he wants a withdrawal with defeat. So, even if the Iraqi Government decides, democratically, that a US presence is no longer necessary, it's still a bad thing because it doesn't give us the "L" he so desperately craves.

I'm not sure how else to read this:

The LA Times probably reflects the thinking of a lot of Americans in hoping that these elections are a milestone on the way to withdrawing US troops from Iraq. I cannot imagine why anyone thinks that. The Iraqi "government" is a failed state. Virtually no order it gives has any likelihood of being implemented. It has no army to speak of and cannot control the country. Its parliamentarians are attacked and sometimes killed with impunity. Its oil pipelines are routinely bombed, depriving it of desperately needed income. It faces a powerful guerrilla movement that is wholly uninterested in the results of elections and just wants to overthrow the new order. Elections are unlikely to change any of this.

The only way in which these elections may lead to a US withdrawal is that they will ensconce parliamentarians who want the US out on a short timetable. Virtually all the Sunnis who come in will push for that result (which is why the US Right is silly to be all agog about Fallujans voting), and so with the members of the Sadr Movement, now a key component of the Shiite religious United Iraqi Alliance. That is, these elections lead to a US withdrawal on terms unfavorable to the Bush administration. Nor is there much hope that a parliament that kicked the US out could turn around and restore order in the country.

Is he actually suggesting that we should remain in Iraq against its legitimate government's wishes? He couldn't possibly mean that. We will stay until the job is done and/or the legitimate government of Iraq requests us to. If they no longer want us there, that may be imprudent, but it's not our responsibility to force them into prudence.

You get the feeling, kinda, that this guy is just going to bitch about everything?

Decision '08 has a different take:

We need not have a free Iraq that is in love with America; we only need a country that loves its freedom. That is victory, and it is within reach.

Of course, an Iraq that loves America is the best outcome. But it is hard to love what is, still, a foreign force in your country, even if they're quite necessary and doing great things. It chafes at a person's sense of self. In time, after withdrawal, those feelings will go away, and it will be more Islamically Correct to express gratitude.

A democracy is permitted to make mistakes. I'm sure that Juan Cole would prefer it if the democratic decisions of the Iraqi government were cleared with a body of Big Daddy Philosopher Kings, like, say, a liberal American appellate court, but then, those on the left have never really grasped the whole idea of democracy.

The people decide. Right or wrong. Right in most cases. And if wrong-- they'll get that right, or close enough to right, eventually too.

A lot of goalpost-moving going on here.

Thanks to the Blogometer.


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posted by Ace at 06:38 PM

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