Some news from Iraq-
BAGHDAD - Iraq's foreign minister warned on Monday that a quick American military withdrawal from the country could lead to civil war and the collapse of the government, as pressure on the Bush administration for a pullout grows.This comes the day after the New York Times editorialized.
Attacks in Baghdad killed 13 people as prominent Shiite and Sunni politicians called on Iraqi civilians to take up arms to defend themselves after a weekend of violence that claimed more than 220 lives.
The burst of violence comes at a sensitive time. U.S. forces are waging offensives in and around Baghdad aimed at uprooting militants and bringing calm to the capital, and a progress report to Congress is due on July 15. At the same time, several Republican congressman have joined calls for a withdrawal from Iraq.
Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari said Iraqis "understand the huge pressure that will increase more and more in the United States" ahead of the progress report by the U.S. ambassador and top commander in Iraq.
"We have held discussion with members of Congress and explained to them the dangers of a quick pull out (from Iraq) and leaving a security vacuum," Zebari said. "The dangers could be a civil war, dividing the country, regional wars and the collapse of the state.
"In our estimations, until Iraqi forces are ready, there is a responsibility on the United States to stand with the (government) as the forces are being built," he said.
The calls for the arming of civilians to fight insurgents reflected the growing frustration with Iraqi security forces' inability to prevent extremists' attacks.
TFM has criticized the war in Iraq and how it has been run. What those who advocate withdrawal are forgetting or ignoring, is what will happen afterwards. Does anyone recall what happened after the fall of Vietnam and Cambodia? Something called the Killing Fields, where the Khemer Rogue killed somewhere between 20 and 40 of the Cambodian people.
It is time for the United States to leave Iraq, without any more delay than the Pentagon needs to organize an orderly exit.
Like many Americans, we have put off that conclusion, waiting for a sign that President Bush was seriously trying to dig the United States out of the disaster he created by invading Iraq without sufficient cause, in the face of global opposition, and without a plan to stabilize the country afterward.
At first, we believed that after destroying Iraq’s government, army, police and economic structures, the United States was obliged to try to accomplish some of the goals Mr. Bush claimed to be pursuing, chiefly building a stable, unified Iraq. When it became clear that the president had neither the vision nor the means to do that, we argued against setting a withdrawal date while there was still some chance to mitigate the chaos that would most likely follow.
While Mr. Bush scorns deadlines, he kept promising breakthroughs — after elections, after a constitution, after sending in thousands more troops. But those milestones came and went without any progress toward a stable, democratic Iraq or a path for withdrawal. It is frighteningly clear that Mr. Bush’s plan is to stay the course as long as he is president and dump the mess on his successor. Whatever his cause was, it is lost.
The political leaders Washington has backed are incapable of putting national interests ahead of sectarian score settling. The security forces Washington has trained behave more like partisan militias. Additional military forces poured into the Baghdad region have failed to change anything.
Continuing to sacrifice the lives and limbs of American soldiers is wrong. The war is sapping the strength of the nation’s alliances and its military forces. It is a dangerous diversion from the life-and-death struggle against terrorists. It is an increasing burden on American taxpayers, and it is a betrayal of a world that needs the wise application of American power and principles.
A majority of Americans reached these conclusions months ago. Even in politically polarized Washington, positions on the war no longer divide entirely on party lines. When Congress returns this week, extricating American troops from the war should be at the top of its agenda.
That conversation must be candid and focused. Americans must be clear that Iraq, and the region around it, could be even bloodier and more chaotic after Americans leave. There could be reprisals against those who worked with American forces, further ethnic cleansing, even genocide. Potentially destabilizing refugee flows could hit Jordan and Syria. Iran and Turkey could be tempted to make power grabs. Perhaps most important, the invasion has created a new stronghold from which terrorist activity could proliferate.
Would five to ten million die in Iraq afterwards? I'd only be guessing, but what will happen is certain to be both bloody and ugly. It could have a destabilizing effect on the bordering countries of Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Jordan. Lets not forget the importance of Saudi oil to not just the US but the entire world. Instability in Arabia could disastrous economic effects. Imagine the screaming t hat will happen if gas prices hit $5 to $10 a gallon.
So what is the US to do? Keep pouring manpower into a battle with no clear end? We had no clear to the Cold War, but the US still has troops in Europe almost twenty years after the end.
That the Bush administration has made a mess of Iraq, shouldn't be the basis for our withdrawal. What needs to be done, is to fight the insurgency without holding back. If we need to revamp and enlarge the military, increase taxes, etc. it needs to be done. For nothing good is going to come out of a US early withdrawal. Lives will continue to be taken, and the hurt is liable to soon hit Americans at home. Either in the pocketbook, or by attacks by emboldened terrorists who feel this nation is weak.
Linked to- Amboy Times, Right Wing Nation, Third World County, Webloggin,