Should We Stay or Should We Go, Now?

Devil’s advocate on “postwar” Iraq: Why withdraw? The Bush administration will be blamed for what happens in Iraq whether U.S. troops stay or leave. If they stay, every dead soldier and civilian, plus general unrest, will be blamed on the occupation. If they leave, critics of the war (especially in Europe) will blame Bush for leaving the country rudderless, ruined, a vacuum waiting to be filled by al-Qaeda or ayatollahs.

To which I say: Damn right, and deservedly so. Bush launched this stupid war, so whatever comes of it should be laid at his feet. But between a permanent occupation and quick withdrawal, the latter option is distinctly superior from both a moral and strategic viewpoint. As Ted Rall puts it:

The bloodshed may continue after we leave–and we’ll be partly to blame for that. But until we pull out, the carnage is all ours.

The warbots had ample warning (not only from places like, but also from their own intelligence agencies) that the current chaos would ensue post-invasion. There is no way to reverse what has been done. But Bush and co. can refrain from compounding their errors. The Iraqis have suffered enough; let’s not wait until they take spectacular revenge on us before we withdraw.