Can we pull out of Iraq now?
Posted by sanityinjection on July 18, 2008
Now that the worst seems to be over in Iraq – the security situation has stabilized and the Iraqi armed forces are doing a lot of the work themselves – has the time come for the immediate pullout of American troops that the left has been demanding? Why stay any longer if the fighting is pretty much over with?
For an answer to this question, perhaps we should ask some ordinary Iraqis. That’s what the Associated Press did in this article:
Here’s an excerpt:
…few Iraqis appear to support a full-scale American withdrawal under current conditions. Many fear that could undercut recent security gains and open the door to greater influence by Iran with Shiite militias — a charge that Tehran denies.
“A pullout would create a vacuum that could be used by many sides,” said Salah al-Rubaie, a Shiite vegetable vendor in Kut, about 90 miles southeast of Baghdad. “Sectarian and militia killings would return as well as looting and robbing. Public life could come to a halt again. That would be a catastrophe.”
Hamid Alwan Jassim finds ample evidence against a U.S. withdraw in his home city of Baqouba, the hub of Diyala province where Sunni insurgents are trying to regroup. On Tuesday, double suicide bombings killed at least 28 army recruits.
“Iraq should be stable first, because any early pullout would allow extremists to emerge again and more fiercely,” he said.
Now, I will grant that there are bound to be some Iraqis who will tell the Western press what they think the Americans want to hear. But AP, no cheerleader for the Administration’s policies, would have gone to some trouble to try to dig up Iraqis to quote who want the US out now. In a separate piece, they asked Iraqis what they thought about Barack Obama’s visit and his views on American forces in Iraq. Of the six quotes they used, only one favored withdrawal, and that was a resident of Sadr City, the neighborhood dominated by anti-American cleric Moqtada al-Sadr:
I think we are starting to see the end of the Iraq war as a major issue. The argument now will be about not whether but when to start the pullout and how long it should take. I wonder what the Code Pink protesters will do? Will they switch to condemning our criminal aggression against the innocent mullahs of Afghanistan? Get jobs and become productive members of society? Or just go back to their knitting?