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Saturday, May 05, 2007

Bush was right to veto the Iraq withdrawal bill

The war was stupid and wrong from the start. We (Americans, British, etc.) went into it on false pretences, and we have almost certainly done more harm than good. But we are there now. You can't just charge into a neighbor's house and make a mess and then run off. We have made ourselves reponsible for what happens. To withdraw unilaterally simply compounds the evil we committed by invading in the first place.

We must withdraw when and only when it is clearly the desire of the Iraqis as a whole that we do so. I would applaud Congress if it explored the question of whether Bush should be impeached for his dubiously constitutional actions in the conduct of the war, but it ought not and must not impose a timetable for withdrawal. Such an action will only embolden the insurgents. We had no right to invade in 2003, and we have no right to leave now. We can leave only when we are unambiguously told to do so by the Iraqis. It's no longer our decision.


rr1213 said...

I'm not sure that you can say we went into the war with false pretenses. At the beginning, we were not the only folks to believe that Iraq had WMDs. We did, the Brits did, even the French and Germans did. Ironically, at the time, their existence was not really in dispute--what to do about it was the real question. We decided that preemptive war was justified under these circumstances. Avoiding 20/20 hindsight, a good case can be made on both sides as to the validity of this decision. With 20/20 hindsight, of course, a better case could be made to have stuck with the UN inspection regime and economic sanctions (although the blasted Russians and French were cheating there also).

Roberto Iza said...


LLB said...

To my mind, a controlled withdrawal is what really needs to happen. Something that is measured, clearly communicated, and orderly.

Part of the problem with only leaving when the Iraqi's want you to is determining what the Iraqi's want. They aren't a monolithic block. The government is almost certainly going to want us there longer than the average citizen. There are probably plenty of people there (even those who aren't trying to kill us) who would like to see us go.

By letting everyone involved know in advance that there is a terminal date, but that there will be plenty of time between now and that date is the best option. It gives everyone a goal to work towards, but also offers an end in sight.