A Made-to-Order Exit Policy in Iraq

The
elected Iraqi government is probably too weak to stand, but additional
time in this political impasse won’t make it stronger. Malaki,
desperate to keep the various factions within his fragile government
talking to one another and equally anxious to keep his post as Prime
Minister, wants us gone. The Iraqi majority want us gone. The American
majority want us gone.

Bushmaliki
Wimp-fever has more hold on Iraq policy than a flu pandemic these days.
Republicans have soured on their staying of an impossible course and
the Democrats can’t come up with anything much beyond shivering in the
corner, because there isn’t anything to offer that’s of value. Neither party dares suggest this mightiest military power on earth is whipped.
And now, they no longer need worry about that issue, because Iraqi
Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has come to the rescue like John Wayne
galloping in on horseback.
Iraqblockadelift
Maliki has demanded American troops stand down from roadblocks and
checkpoints, particularly in Sadr City, but generally throughout
Baghdad and (presumably) the rest of the country as well. They are
doing just that—re-coiling the concertina wire, packing up the traffic
cones and removing themselves as easy targets to car-bombers.
No ‘cut and run’ in this, just a recognition of the sovereignty of a
duly elected government to cut it’s own throat. I’m not sure if the
order applies to entry points to the Green Zone Maliki dares not leave,
but the orderly withdrawal of the American and coalition military is on
the table if we have the sense to accept it.
The result of our leaving

  • Will finally enable us to call the civil war that engulfs Iraq–a Civil War.
  • Assures the Iraq we hoped to turn into an Arabic democracy will lie
    in ruins (if a more ruined condition than now exists there is
    possible).
  • Exacerbates the ‘ethnic cleansing’ (the politically correct word
    for genocide) of Sunni Muslims whenever and wherever they can be found.
  • Will hurry the Kurds to close off and declare independent their part of the country.
  • Assures that Moqtada al-Sadr will lead his militia, the Mahdi Army,
    against the various warlord militias of Iraq and the outcome (whichever
    side wins) will be another Middle Eastern theocracy.
  • Will, for once and for all, showcase the democratically elected
    parliament in Iraq as being an emperor with no clothes and an enforced
    political entity that the nation and the Arab world in general is
    decades from actually attaining.

The result of our staying is the same. All who have any close
knowledge of this three-year fiasco know it. The last deniers standing
are the shamed ‘decision makers’ who announced “mission accomplished” so woefully short of their misguided and unobtainable goal.
Iraqimaliki
We went in (ostensibly) to liberate Iraq and 70% of the Iraqis
want us to go home immediately, if not sooner. Maliki has asked us out
and we should honor his request, as well as the desire of a majority of
Iraqi citizens by leaving.
The Prime Minister’s’s National Reconciliation Plan, some five months old now, entailed

  • A timetable for withdrawal of occupation troops from Iraq.
  • Amnesty for all insurgents who attacked U.S. and Iraqi military targets.
  • Release of all security detainees from U.S. and Iraqi prisons.
  • Compensation for victims of coalition military operations.

Much of that was softened at the insistence of Washington and
various Iraqi factions within the government, but the principles hold
and Maliki announced the release of 2,500 security detainees during
June as a gesture to insurgents. Washington has a hard time admitting
that the major civil disturbance (if not civil war) in Iraq is carried
out, not by terrorists in the terms that we understand terrorism, but by factional death squads within the Iraqi Army and the police.
Carbombbaghdad_1
Both are major sources of terror(ism) for Iraqi citizens. Even so, they
want us out. They desperately hope that wothout American troops in
their country, things will settle down. That’s probably a misguided
hope, but it is theirs and they cling to it. Who can blame them in the
chaos of beheadings and ritual executions that carry with them the
stench of police complicity?
According to a NewsWeek article,

The distinction
between insurgents and terrorists is one of the key principles in the
document, and is in response to Sunni politicians’ demands that the
“national resistance” should not be punished for what they see as
legitimate self-defense in attacks against a foreign occupying power.
Principle No. 19 calls for “Recognizing the legitimacy of the national resistance and differentiating or separating it from terrorism” while “encouraging
the national resistance to enroll in the political process and
recognizing the necessity of the participation of the national
resistance in the national reconciliation dialogue.”

The
elected Iraqi government is probably too weak to stand, but additional
time in this political impasse won’t make it stronger. Malaki,
desperate to keep the various factions within his fragile government
talking to one another and equally anxious to keep his post as Prime
Minister, wants us gone. The Iraqi majority want us gone. The American
majority want us gone.
Another opportunity to be ‘asked’ to leave may be a long time
coming. The result will be the same, stay or leave, except for the
continued sacrifice of American troops and Iraqi citizens. The errors
of this war were many and might have played out differently had a
better understanding of Muslim culture informed our strategic and
tactical decisions. They did not.
Time to accept the demand of the legitimately elected Iraqi government, while there still is a government, and get the hell out.
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Media positions on the Malaki demand;

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