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Quitting Iraq: Another View (Playing Devils Advocate)!

Is the rush to quit Iraq a morally irresponsible move? Are we capable of stepping out of the ideological liberal-left box to discuss other viewpoints that may be valid?
I was having a rousing discussion with an 80-year old man the other day about the Iraqi quagmire. He agreed with me that "lies and deceptions" caused us to overthrow a legitimate nation that had never attacked us or even had the where-with-all to do so. But strangely enough he had an opinion about "exit strategy" that thoroughly shocked my senses. he stated rather bluntly that the US government had a moral responsibility NOT to cut and run.

He used the analogy of a "gang who stages a house invasion of a neighbor who they don't like and fear. he continued with this analogy about how this gang kills family members, trashes the house and steals most of the valuable content. He said that this gang had the moral obligation to stay and "rebuild" the house to its former condition and financially compensate those within.

He went on to explain how we as a nation (gang) entered Iraq illegally, killed members of that nation, trashed its infrastructure and looted its valuables. He claimed we are morally responsible for the full and total restoration of Iraq. His idea on how to begin this "restoration" is to us present US military troops as workers to repair and restore the infrastructure while slowly phasing these troops out with civilian replacements. He claimed it would probably cost us between 25-65 Trillion Dollars over a 10-year period to restore that country to its former glory. I was quite startled at his viewpoint and caused me to question my own ideas about quick withdrawal.

I really don't know but it sounds like a good idea to discuss.
interesting idea, but - 16.Oct.2005 22:23

unfortunately

doesn't stand up to scrutiny.

this whole argument is based on the premise that U.S.'s primary 'mission' is now - or ever was, or ever could be - to (quote):

"repair and restore the infrastructure"

in Iraq.

CIVILIAN (presumably that's what the guy thought he meant?) infrastructure is emphatically NOT why the U.S. illegally invaded and occupied Iraq, killed (and continues to mass murder) hundreds of thousands  http://www.iraqbodycount.net/ of innocent civilians (more than 3,000 this month alone).

even the "official" U.S. "reasons" for pre-emptively invading and militarily occupying Iraq have been proven false and morphed since the event (from WMDs to 'war on terror' to 9/11-Saddam to __________ ).

plain and simple the reason why U.S. forces are there - and won't 'withdraw' any time soon, or with any rapidity, is because the U.S. is using Iraq as its strategic regional power-projection replacement base for the soon-to-be-destabilized nation of Saudi Arabia (will eventually lose Prince Sultan Air Base, to be replaced by those in Iraq and other mega-bases like Al Dhafra in Abu Dhabi, and Al Udeid in Qatar) - and access to / close monitoring and distribution via pipeline of the regional oil reserves, in Iraq and neighboring nations.

With 14 U.S. military bases under constructio in Iraq,
 http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2004/05/288657.shtml

while Halliburton and other elite, top-shelf contractors reap billions in profits by importing 'invisible' Asian (NOT native Iraqi) laborers to construct the bases,
 http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2005/10/326835.shtml

and countless billions of dollars never to be accounted for have vanished in universe of corruption that is the Coalition Provisional Authority:
 http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2005/10/326822.shtml

the invasion and occupation is definitely not - and never was - about considering or providing for the welfare of Iraqi citizens, at all.

so anyone who deludes themselves into some "moral" "mission" (accomplished?) for U.S. troops over there - well, don't take my word for it:

"We are committing genocide in Iraq, and that is the intention." -- USMC Staff Sergeant Jimmy Massey


this is stupid 16.Oct.2005 22:46

and you know why

The gang analogy refutes itself, doesn't it. If somebody stages a home invasion on your house, kills your spouse, steals your shit and molests your kid, do you want them to stick around until maybe someday they're inspired to raise your kid properly for you and pay you back for all the shit they took? Or do you just want them to fuckin' leave?

get the fuck out now 17.Oct.2005 01:18

another view

the "morally responsible" thing to do is to stop fucking meddling in other people's lives. a few months back, there was a tour of iraqi labor leaders, invited to the united states by fellow u.s. labor organizations. when asked by an audience member, "what is the most important thing the u.s. can do to ensure peace and stability in iraq?" both men immediately responded "get out now!".

if you want data, check out this article which is a review of an interesting book on terrorism called "dying to win":
 http://antiwar.com/pat/?articleid=6630

an excerpt:

"The history of the last 20 years" shows that once the troops of the occupying democracies "withdraw from the homeland of the terrorists, they often stop - and stop on a dime."

gee 17.Oct.2005 02:24

i never thought of that (not)

What the occupation forces are doing NOW is what they're going to do. Opposition players like us don't have any fine control over the details of how Bush & Co. are going to run Iraq. We barely have any influence over whether they stay or go. Harry Truman and George Marshall are not going to float down from the sky and redeem the US/UK invasion of southwestern Asia. When you promote the "stay and finish the job" line, you are voting for more of the status quo, indefinitely into the future, forever.

when wrong is right 17.Oct.2005 03:46

memyselfandI

The thought Or stradigy too exit Iraq is the only way too rebuild Iraq, Human Nature is well known to Use , How we analize Plans for Military actions and even Bussiness deals are structured By a knowledge of human Nature, The Fact that we know Iraqys would as humans veiw there Victory over the governance of there own country being waged with there own civil war efforts would be the Only true ledgetimacy in there Minds, and the Intrudegion of Any outside force like Our Own US forces would just be a political effect of no vindication for a solid veiw Of Integrity over the rights to govern in a politically Theocratically charged region with respect to History, Is in fact the Only way . and Allthough Leaving Iraq seems too be a disrespectfull move that shows no repect for the lives of Iraqys, since when have we showed we acually cared about that, and If you trully did you would have taken a stand before the war Like I did, and many others. It is in your own selfish mind that the Guilt of allowing the Unknow too happen by just washing your hands from Iraq right Now,Is the Only reason we hesitate to leave Iraq , we know they as Iraqys can only make There own Justifacation of a Governement, and were Not Helping standing in the way, and If we really want iraq stable it would Be fair to give All opositions In Iraq the Fair and equal Arms to wage there civil war, and Take a seat at the Side Lines and congradulate the Victor.. dont be selfish do the right thing allow them all a fighting chance equal arms to wage there own vindication of there Theocratic or democratic government witch ever they chose to rule with Its not our chioce so we must not interfear or effect the legitimacy of the religious beliefs and Validicy of there civil war efferts...

What About The Moral Obligation To Pay? 17.Oct.2005 07:11

Ben Douglass bendouglass@cheerful.com

I do agree with everybody and I still believe we should quit Iraq now (and I am not that naive to believe it will happen soon), but what about the concept this old guy brought up - about PAYING RESTITUTION for trashing Iraq. I am thinking the moral thing to do is to send TRILLIONS of $$$$$ to rebuild that country NOW and keep up the pressure to quit.

So do people here think we are morally obligated to pump up Iraq with the kind of money that it will take? Mega-trillions. It would definitely hurt our already whipped economy.

"wrong to go in, wrong to stay in" 17.Oct.2005 07:58

kucitizen

Dennis Kucinich's position on Iraq has always included restitution and compensation for Iraq -- as well as immediate or ASAP U.S. withdrawal.

Here's Dennis' statement from two years ago -- and it is still posted at the website today! Kucinich hasn't changed, the disaster in Iraq hasn't changed -- what has changed is public perception of what is happening.

"Right now, neither the leading Democrat nor the Republican Administration is willing to commit to a plan to bring our troops home. And I say it's time that we take a strong stand and say that we need to bring in UN peacekeepers and bring our troops home and end this sorry adventure in Iraq."

"It was wrong to go in, it is wrong to stay in. . . . We need to turn over to the UN control of the oil to be handled on behalf of the Iraqi people until the Iraqi people are self-governing, control of the contracts so there will be no more Halliburton sweetheart deals, no more privatization of Iraq, and no trying to run the government of Iraq by remote control. We need to help rebuild Iraq to the extent that we destroyed it, pay reparations to the families of innocent civilians and noncombatants who have lost their lives, help to rebuild Iraq, help to pay for a UN peacekeeping mission, and BRING OUR TROOPS HOME."

 http://www.kucinich.us/issues/iraq.php

occupation is occupation is . . . 17.Oct.2005 11:07

activist

Sure, we can rebuild--without guns. And tanks, and bombs, and checkpoints, and military bases.

I'm sure you've heard about Haliburton hiring foreign labor cheapcheapcheap while profiting by billions. Let the Iraqis rebuild and pay them well. Restitution is great, but the only Americans there should be in service to the people.

restitution 17.Oct.2005 20:44

anon

The idea of restitution is entirely sensible. This then begs the question of how to maintain security in Iraq while the damage done by the US and the insurgency is repaired. It is overwhelmingly clear that the Iraqi army cannot maintain security. So who does it? I would like to say the UN, but (i) I find it very hard to envisage countries committing troops to a UN mission, and (ii) I believe the insurgents would be as opposed to a UN-sanctioned international force as they are to the US and UK forces.

I think a full blown civil war is practically inevitable. The folks who ran Iraq as their little fiefdom before the US/UK invasion--all the way back before Saddam Hussein to the 1920s, when Iraq becamw a sovereign state with its present borders--don't like the idea of playing fair. Nor do the other communities in that ravaged country.

yo 17.Oct.2005 23:05

that's backwards

The "insurgents" are the people who will "maintain security" after America leaves. This could happen tomorrow, or next week, or 10 years from now. "The Iraqi army," as you call it, is an agency of a puppet government, and if it had any popular support there would be no insurgency. It will disappear at the same time as the American occupation force, just like in Vietnam.

If you beat up a stranger on the street and then hold his face in the gutter, he will thrash around and try to get up. You are not honor-bound to keep holding him down until he stops struggling.

"obligation to pay" 18.Oct.2005 15:59

YOU MISSED IT in my orig. comment

and countless billions of dollars never to be accounted for have vanished in universe of corruption that is the Coalition Provisional Authority:
 http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2005/10/326822.shtml