It is a common argument that the U.S. can't just "cut and run" from Iraq. The argument is usually accompanied by some reference to "chaos" in Iraq and the need for the U.S., "now that we're there," to stay and set things right.
An old story from Vietnam days comes to mind. Somebody asked a soldier who was against the war, "How can we leave Vietnam?" The answer: "Ship or plane, either is good."
What would happen if the U.S. military left Iraq and all the troops came home now?
Perhaps some Iraqi multimillionaires will buy up the government and pocket the oil money. That is the American way. Perhaps Shiite political parties will get control of the government. In Turkey, an Islamic political party is in control of the government, and this government is a U.S. ally. The same holds true for Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. Washington politicians use "Islamic fundamentalism" as a bogey to scare people into supporting the occupation. They don't care about the rights of Iraqi women, or religious minorities or democracy-they are concerned only for power and profits.
Perhaps the millions of Iraqi workers who live in the cities will organize their own party and fight for their own interests and agenda-to use Iraq's oil wealth to improve the lives of ordinary Iraqis (instead of the oil wealth being siphoned off by U.S. interests). Maybe there will be bloodshed, a civil war and a period of unrest until the Iraqis figure out who is going to be in charge. America had one of those from 1860—65 and no one-not the British, not the French, not the Russians-had a right to interfere.
But one thing there won't be is a foreign, invading, occupying military power suffocating all of Iraqi society and generating a national resistance movement that makes the whole country a war zone.
We shouldn't forget that the Iraqis managed to organize their own society for about 3,000 years before Bush decided they needed a U.S. military occupation. Before the U.S. invasion, Iraq was one of the few Muslim countries where city life was more like Europe than it is in Kuwait, or Saudi Arabia or other medieval regimes that are cozy with the Bush administration. It is nothing more than ignorant racism to assume the Iraqi people can't run their own country without proconsul L. Paul Bremer and President George W. Bush.
And while no one knows exactly what will happen in Iraq when the U.S. leaves, a few things are for sure. Not a single American soldier will be killed by Iraqis who want to run their own country. No Iraqis fighting for independence will get killed by American soldiers. If the U.S. is forced out of Iraq, it will make the U.S. government think twice about further military interference in that region and the world, and give confidence to people everywhere fighting for a better world. That is why we say: Brings them home now.