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December 13, 2004

Another Iraq Exit Strategy


What is so strategic about leaving a place that you hold hostage?

by Jeremy Sapienza

A while back in 2003, there was a lot of commentary and partisan whining on the lack of an "exit strategy" for Iraq. Bush got us into a quagmire, and we can't get out!

In May of this year, William Pfaff suggested playing to Iraqi "nationalism," as well as a complicated list of immunities and combinations of other foreign occupation (UN "peacekeepers" – gunmen with blue helmets), moving toward an eventual departure. The problem, besides the fact that what he perceives as nationalism is mostly just a convenient alliance in the fight against foreign occupiers, is that this still entails propping up a government, adding more troops, and forcing the common Iraqi to accept the outcome. I maintain that that is a recipe for disaster, a la every other intervention and overthrow in American history.

In January, presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich also called for a UN occupation of Iraq, instead of a continued U.S. one, and then getting out. This I have less objection to, except that I think the locals won't give much of a shit who points the guns at them. And they'll still blame Americans.

And recently, Thomas Gale Moore, citing the risk of civil war and general chaos, says after the planned elections are held, "the president-elect should announce that, if the resistance fighters stop the violence, all U.S. troops will be out of Iraq within three months." Nice job there, putting the onus on the invaded.

How about this:

Get out! Let Iraq split up into three states. Hell, let it split into 3,000 states – or better yet, no states. Either way, it is only really the concern of those who live within the lines arbitrarily drawn in the sand by an irritated British colonial servant – and not you, me, or the United States government.

Justin Raimondo says U.S. troops should be yanked "as fast as humanly possible," but just in case that (or this) is not clear enough, I'm going to take a crack at it and explain the position in more detail.

Invasion of the the Eurocrats

There is nothing as gross as a liberal. Not because they're leftists (of whatever shade), but because they are uninteresting white bread and Freedom Slop moderates with no coherent ideology. Down with Republican war! ... but Democratic war is dandy. Baghdad bombs bad, Belgrade bombs good – seemingly for no other reason than the party affiliation of the presidents who dropped them.

But I think they make exceptions: Republican war can be acceptable as long as it's balanced by the participation of the überstatists at the United Nations. Mass murder is not a crime, you see – as long as you don't try to pull it off yourself.

Regardless of opinions either way, the UN wants in on the action in Iraq. The Eurocrats can't pass up a chance to build a social democratic welfare state from scratch, even after so many were killed in the truck bombing of the organization's compound in Baghdad. All the people who died are just pawns shuffled around the giant chessboard we call the world, being double-skipped from square to square to make sure sovereignty is consolidated at the supranational level and never in individuals. Just refill the UN employee hopper, and send a few more chugging down the grinder.

The Iraqis don't need their "help." Everyone needs to get the hell out of Iraq so that the people there can do what they want. They're not farm animals; I'm rather sure they can take care of themselves, especially without the United States or Britain crushing the Iraqi market under their boots or propping up a dictator to oppress them. If you doubt that's how Saddam came to hold and wield so much power over Iraq, then I have a bridge to sell you. Oh, wait, the Coalition bombed it. Nevermind.

Even if It Is Broke, I'm Not Fixing It

And to those who say we've wronged the Iraqis, so we need to stay and at least "fix what we broke", (how one can say "you" and mean 300 million people is beyond my comprehension), I respond: who is this "we" of which you speak? Is "we" you? Is it me? If not, then why must you or I pay for something done by other people? I have no control over the United States military, no say in what they break or whom they kill, so why must I pay to clean their mess?

All together now:

"Because you have a responsibility as a citizen of this country and as a taxpayer."

Lemme get this straight. Washington owns me (and don't give me that democracy cult crap about those in government being my employees – I am their slave, and I dare you to attempt to prove otherwise), and even though I have obedience, exile, or death as choices in dealing with this, I have a moral duty to make good on my masters' alleged obligations? Dude... that's some twisted reasoning.

As the bill for the occupation rises, in loot (now considering that stealing Iraqi oil won't pay for the war) and in terror risk to the world, it becomes evident that the U.S. needs to extricate its troops right now. Stuff them all in American Airlines coach and send 'em back to their South Bronx slum and their subsidized Appalachian farm. If they don't like that, ditch their asses in the desert. It's not my problem they decided it was okay to drop bombs on civilians in order to get a scholarship – so I shouldn't have to pay an extra red cent or an iota of security for their bad choices.


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Jeremy Sapienza is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com and has been on the team since 2002. He also runs a website about his neighborhood of Bushwick, Brooklyn at BushwickBK.com.

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