The Way Out of Iraq
The Bush misadventure in Iraq has not only cost thousands of American lives, tens of thousands of American casualties, hundreds of thousands of Iraqi lives, and hundreds of billions of dollars: it has also helped America’s two greatest enemies–Al Qaeda and Iran–achieve power that five years ago, they never would have dreamed of.
Iraq has turned from a toothless mild irritant to a major-league civil war with Al Qaeda (representing Sunnis) and Iran (representing Shiites) both directing forces on the ground to attack us and each other.
The only way to decrease Al Qaeda and Iranian power in Iraq is to leave all areas except an independent democratic and oil-rich Kurdistan (which I have long supported). I support continued aid to the new Kurdistan and the recognition of it as an independent state. We can supply it with arms and aids so we don’t need American troops there, but I suspect it will soon become one of our greatest, most stable, and democratic allies in the region, second only to Isreal.
The rest of Iraq will fall into an extremely bloody civil war. But here’s the kicker–after murdering the Iraqis that helped our troops (a real problem, which is why we should encourage the independent Kurdistan to take in these refugees as the price for our recognition)–Iran and Al Qaeda will be kiling EACH OTHER, rather than Americans until the bloody partition of Iraq is achieved.
Leaving our troops in Iraq cannot stop the growing civil war. It will only prolong it. And it will bring about the bloodiest Sunni-Shiite conflict since the Iran-Iraq War of 1982 where a million died. There’s only one good thing to be said about that awful war: no Americans died in it!
It’s an awful solution. But it’s better than any alternative. And the longer we wait to act, the worse the conflagration will become.
Perhaps after the Shiite/Sunni boundaries are drawn in blood across the Iraqi landscape, the Iraqis will work in their respective two states to abolish foreign (i.e. Al Qaeda and Iranian) influence. This is my hope and prayer and realistically, it may or may not happen. But it will be an Iraqi decision to make, not ours.
In the meantime, we can keep troops in Kurdistan, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia (sorry, Osama, I don’t believe in giving in to terrorism) to attack, through selective bombing, Special Forces, and intelligence, any incipient terrorist threat from Iraq to the rest of the world.