Only 9% of the American people in a new AP/IPSOS poll released today believe we will find success in Iraq and that matches the same gloomy percentage of Americans who believed, over 30 years ago, that the Vietnam war was winnable.
The time to get out of Iraq is right now. Tap out. Give in. Get out.
Winning is not possible. Losing is inevitable. A Civil War is happening
Thomas Friedman makes this fascinating argument this morning for am immediate withdrawal of all forces from Iraq:
The only hope of moving the factions inside Iraq, not to
mention Syria and Iran, toward reconciliation is if we have leverage
over them, which we now lack. The currency of Middle East politics is
pain. And right now, all the pain is being inflicted on us and on Iraqi
civilians. Only if we tell all the players that we are leaving might we
create a different balance of pain and therefore some hope for a
diplomatic deal. Trying to do diplomacy without the threat of pain is
like trying to play baseball without a bat….
Let’s play this out.
What happens if we set a date to leave? The war in
Iraq will get worse, but for how long? Right now our troops are
providing a floor under the civil war that allows some parties to
behave outrageously or make impossible demands — because they know that
we won’t let things spin totally out of control. Would they behave more
cautiously if they knew they had to pay retail for their madness? I’d
like to find out….
If there is a full-fledged civil war, Syria, a largely Sunni country,
will have to support the Iraqi Sunnis.
Shiite Iran will have to support
the Iraqi Shiites. That would mean Iran and Syria, now allies, will be
on opposite sides of the Iraqi civil war. That will leave them with the
choice of either indirectly fighting each other or working to settle
Moreover, right now we are “Mr. Big” in Iraq, soaking up all the
popular anger. But the minute we’re gone, Iran becomes “Mr. Big” and
the age-old tensions between Iraqi Arab Shiites and Iranian Persian
Shiites will surface. Iran and Moktada al-Sadr will be at each other’s
Friedman finishes his argument by saying we’re either in Iraq “for 10
months or 10 years” and nobody wants us there for a decade and no one
in Iraq really wants us there even 10 months. So why stay where we are
not wanted or appreciated? Get out now! Set the timer for leaving for
as soon as possible. The time for talk is over. The only action that
should be taken is moving our troops out of the middle of a Civil War.
What do you think? How long should we remain in Iraq?