If the United States pulls out of Iraq right now will it become a new terrorist Mecca? Is protesting the war encouraging more attacks on US soldiers? What do you think?
More an IMO type thing but I’ll bite. I think if the US pulls out of Iraq right now, without anyone else coming in behind us to try and stablize things, the country will disintigrate fairly rapidly. What will that mean? Well, IMO I’d say that you will have a major civil war on your hands, with the various factions fighting it out for control.
In the end, you’ll have some general or mullah in charge, and another locked down totalitarian regime in place for years to come. In the mean time, it will make what the US has done to the country so far look like a dance party. It would be bloody and the death toll would be immense, again IMO. I doubt it will become a ‘terrorist mecca’, but depending on how things fall out, I can certainly see terrorists camps like what existed during SH reign (I know they weren’t AQ…but there WERE terrorist camps in northern Iraq). It would depend heavily on which faction the current terrorists in country throw their weight behind…and whether that faction wins or not.
I wouldn’t wet the bed though…I seriously doubt the US is going anywhere, even when Bush is booted out next year. Whoever the new president is, he’ll have to basically keep things going…we are there now, and the area is stategically vital to the US and the industrialized world. We aren’t going anywhere…
I agree with xtisme… Civil War for sure. Much due to excessive number of forces in Iraq:
Cleric Leaders who might want a Islamic rule
Terrorists interested in meddling with affairs
Tribal factors and leaders
Saddam Supporters still alive
Iranian and other neighbors interference
US and European meddling. (Even if they pull out they still will try to finance a group instead of another)
I doubt any faction would be able to overcome all opponents in the free for all rush… so in fact it wouldn’t be the best place for terrorist to join up… but only to hide out while the shooting is still going on. They might get embroiled in the shooting and end up losing too.
Now after someone does “win” over OR Iraq is broken into smaller states… then you will have a safe haven for terrorists.
All of which tells us that even if the invasion was illegitimate we have placed our selves in a position where we have to see this thing through. Its a little like the man who caught the tiger by the tail. Having caught it what to do with it becomes a major concern. He sure can’t just let go.
From Spavined Gelding
Agreed. Right or wrong, we are in the shit now.
What if things can’t be “seen through”… will the US remain in Iraq ? Even if things go thru and without a civil war it will be unstable for a decade in Iraq.
From Rashak Mani
Well, I’m less pessimistic myself. While I think that things COULD have been done much better (or better yet, not done at all), I think that in the end things will work out. Might not be the best it could be, but it will work…I have faith in my country to not fuck it up TOO badly, even with Bush at the helm. I guess time will tell on what happens in Iraq (and which one of us was right in our speculations)…but this is a fantasy thread, a ‘what if’ thread. I don’t see much of a debate though, as I think most people would agree that if the US pulls out right now, things will go downhill
So, yes, I think the US WILL stay in Iraq now that we are there. I don’t really see any other way. Even the main Democrat candidates aren’t saying we need to pull up stakes. I think the US would LIKE if we can get some other countries on board to share the pain, but whether THAT happens or not is still too soon to tell (I think it will to some extent…everyone needs oil and stability in that region)…though I guess they did pony up about $30 billion, so thats something.
Alderbaran, where are ya chum? This could be a good place for one of your long, stream of consiousness rants, as the ‘debate’ is not based on facts but fantasy.
Well, it all depends on what the U.S. pulling out entails. I heard a piece on NPR on yesterday’s protest in Washington where they noted that many of the protesters they interviewed admitted that we can’t simply walk away from Iraq at this point. They were arguing more for transfer of authority away from the U.S. and toward the U.N. and international peacekeepers.
As for this idea that protests of the war encourage more attacks on U.S. soldiers, that seems to me like a cheap argument to squash dissent. I would tend to reply that if the protesters had been listened to earlier, then there would have been no U.S. soldiers killed there (and there would have been just as many weapons of mass destruction discovered and probably significantly fewer sympathizers to the terrorists among those living in the Arab world).
The people of Iraq want the US to get out. They have every reason to distrust us, and eventually we will have to leave. When we leave, Iraq will (after an initial period of horror, and bloodshed) become an Islamic Fundamentalist Theocracy. The loose nature of Islamic clerical authority will encourage factionalism. That factionalism will include moderates who will try to get the nation to see the benefit of tolerance for other views of life. It will also include every sort of extremist.
Whenever we leave Iraq it will become a garden of terrorism, with a recent historic reason to despise America in particular. Regional differences and the historic animosity of the Kurds, and other neighbors will ensure a very active clandestine political scene. Paramilitary groups will flourish, importing jihadists from throughout the Islamic world, especially Iraq’s already unstable neighbors.
And that doesn’t begin to assess the possibility that other nations with no particular interest in Iraq will not use it to provide difficulties for the US, and its allies. Intelligence agencies using the tried and true methods of the cold war can keep American “Peace Keepers” busy spending billions in Iraq for decades to come.
Saudi Arabian radicals attacked the World Trade Center, so our president attacked Afghanistan. That didn’t work, so he attacked Iraq. Any international exchange that begins with that level of rationality can’t do anything but encourage endless violence. Calling it Iraqi freedom is double think. When we get bored with Iraq, we will attack another Muslim country, after making up intelligence reports sufficient to justify it. Then they will send their escaped radicals to Iraq, to teach another generation to despise America. It’s hard to say their actions are unreasonable.
How is this not genocide?
Hang on, this was an attack on another country got up on a fake pretext and outside the auspicious of the UN. Yet the argument here is whether Iraq will become a terrorist camp if the attacker/invader leaves – you mean it isn’t, by default of the occupation ?
Presumably, this also means those Iraqis opposing the attackers/invaders are terrorists in their own country, and the attackers/invaders aren’t . . . I fear I’m having a reality slip again.
Wait! Oh okay, I get it; this is where the administation tells us the Iraqi “terrorists” are “Saddam loyalists”. Sure. Got nothin’ to do with wanting their country back from the invaders - I sure hope the administration got their information about the ‘Saddam loyalists’ from a different source than they used for the WMD thang.
Whoa, whoa. Hold on here.
While I can certainly imagine that someone on the receiving end might interpret events in the way you describe through persecution-colored glasses, “genocide” generally implies a conscious attempt to eliminate a particular race in total, not merely make war. I’m not a big supporter of the neo-con strategy by any means, but I’d never go so far as to suggest that there’s anything like genocide going on.
There’s another way to see it. Iraq has become a “terrorist Mecca”, because we’ve made it one. Removing the irritant, our occupation, will reduce the reaction to it.
Therefore, you are of the opinion that we must never leave Iraq and stay there forever as masters and overlords.
He who rides a tiger dares not dismount.
Based on my admittedly incomplete understanding of Iraq’s internal politics, sure, you can dismount, as long as you leave someone in power who is strong enough to control things. Frex, as I understand it, the Ba’ath Party in Iraq was composed mainly of a religious minority, the Sunni Muslims IIRC. They were generally oppressing and lording it over the Shiite Muslims in Iraq, and of course doing horrible things to the Kurds.
I’d say we stay long enough to develop strong Shiite and Kurdish leaders, once we get folks who can control their respective groups, we put them in charge. This will have unfortunate consequences for the Sunni Muslims, probably those who didn’t back the Baathists as well as those who did, but it does offer hope of creating a stable political framework for the rest of the country, and let’s face it, the Sunni Baathists have a LOT to answer for.
The most humane deal will be to set up a framework that includes the Sunni Muslims, but I don’t know if that’ll be practical so long as Saddam and the Baathists lurk in the shadows. Look what happened when the Soviet Union dissolved – all the old Commies became what they always were, gangsters. Giving the Sunnis any breathing room at all is probably a bad idea.
I think if we had practical political control by the Kurds and the Shiites and we left, the Kurds and Shiites would invite the terrorists right out … if they don’t just kill 'em outright. As for neighboring states – a treaty promising to defend Iraq against neighbors would probably do the trick.
Can this be done in the next year? Of course not. It’ll take time. But it can happen. And after we leave, we can still do all in our power to teach the poor bastards how power sharing works and how to live together without killing one another.
"If the U.S. pulls out of Iraq right now will it become one big terrorist camp? "
It already is, thanks to President Pinhead.
That’s what I was looking for! Where on earth did I come up with “tiger by the tail?”
The point of course, is that having deprived Iraq of a stable and working government, albeit despotic and brutal, the US has an obligation to facilitate the establishment of a replacement stable government. Our problem is that we seem intent on setting up an American friendly government. Lord knows that past history indicates that we can live with a brutal despotic government as long as it is stable and US-friendly. I’m not at all sure that we can get US-friendly. There is no doubt that we can get brutal and despotic at the drop of a hat–just let the Iraqis have what they seem to want, an anti-western (or at least west phobic) Islamic theocracy of the Iranian sort.
The other point is that drawing parallels between the occupation of Iraq and the occupation of Germany and Japan after WWII is illogical and ignores the fact that both Germany and Japan had been pounded to a pulp.
No, I don’t think we should stay.
I just don’t think it makes much difference in the long run how long we attempt to coerce the Iraqi people into becoming our lap dog Muslim power in the region. It won’t work. There will be a very strongly anti American government in Iraq eventually, unless of course, it really is going to be genocide. I wish I were confident that that wasn’t one of the contingency plans on file down in the basement of the Pentagon.
We have already guaranteed our failure in this case. That doesn’t mean I support continuing to pile up dead bodies in the name of more failure. It means that I don’t think you can impose democracy on anyone. Especially not if you kill them in a more or less random fashion in the name of Iraqi Freedom.
Any news of a rising tide of Pro-Americanism in Afghanistan, lately? It hasn’t been making the front page in my town.
IRAQ (as a nation) is a bit of historicalfiction…it was set up by the British after WWI. WE should break it up into three nations: KURDISTAN (in the north), a central stae for the Sunnis, and a southern state for the Shia. If we do this, there will be a modicum of peace…if we attempt to keep this nation called IRAQ together, it will simply revert to civil war once we leave. Iraq is quite a bit like Yugoslavia-a “nation” whose citizens DON’T want to be a nation. Breaking up Iraq would have other advantages…the Kurds are our allies…we could relay on them to keep the peace for us.
Perhaps from Abraham Lincoln’s joke about the boy who caught a tiger by the tail and yelled to his friends “Help me let go!”