Wednesday, November 05, 2003

Consequences Of Immediate Pullout From Iraq

Yesterday, I was meditating on the future of Iraq. Given complete self-determination, as peoples led by their chosen leaders, it seems almost beyond contention that Iraq would become three separate nations. Iraq, as is, is merely an imperalistic construction. The model wouldn't be Lebanon, but Yugoslavia, in the sense of decomposition into more natural groupings.

Unfortunately, in this world, there is no such thing as complete self-determination. If we immediately withdraw from Iraq, after having removed Saddam Hussein as the prevailing influence for the three peoples (Sunnis, Shiites, and Kurds), we will also no longer be exerting a palpable influence on its future.

With that in mind, the Iraqis are free to do what they want, right? Wrong. There are other nations just itching to expand their influence in the area. Iran, with the Shiite lands. Turkey, with the Kurdish lands. Perhaps Syria, with the Sunni lands. Essentially, you'd have three strong and competitive nations coming into to compete for the scraps, while the Iraqis would be left, on their own resources and organization, in chaos and seeking assistance from the first caller.

This would be a foreign policy recipe for disaster, and is the real reason why noone with any sense is calling for immediate withdrawal from Iraq. Imagine the fate of the Kurds. Would this again be an abandonment of them? Would they be better off or much worse?

No, as foolish and misguided as rushing into war with Iraq indeed was, it would only make matters worse, in the bigger picture, to just cut and run now that the going is getting tough. It's only President Bush's fault that he's been bragging about our success, and making it inevitable that in comparison to the reality on the ground people would be worrying about a quagmyre.

It's going to be a "long, hard slog" in Iraq, and unfortunately it has to be done. We need to bring the world on board. Iraq should no longer be our trophy, and hunting ground for Halliburton and its ilk, and instead we should join with our long-time allies and bring NATO and/or the UN in with real power and influence in this operation.

The fate of Iraq, the world, and terror hang in the balance. Iraqis need to be free, even if they will no longer be Iraqis, or even if there will no longer be an Iraq. But we can't just leave it to the wolves because the resistance is smarter and tougher than we realized. To have invaded Iraq for the result of a greater Iran and Syria would seem like a truly dastardly and blitheringly idiotic enterprise. Keep that in mind.

At this stage, the people of Iraq will only become free, or less so, through the influence of others. Conditions on the ground seem to dictate this. Should these "others" be the free world, or should they be the repressive Islamic theocrats? You make the call.