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29 April 2007

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Chris Marlowe

The Vietnam war was mainly a war between pro-western Vietnamese nationalists and Communist Vietnamese nationalists. The US was not really seen as being an occupying force by any side.

Iraq is different because the US is seen as an occupying force, even though it has done that very ineffectively and with insufficient forces.

So what if the Iraqis decide to kill 10M of their countrymen and women in civil war? It is their country/countries, and ultimately they will decide their fate.

I like the Iraqis I have met, and I have no problem with them killing each other if that is what they need to do to settle their problems, even though I would prefer that they resolve their issues peacefully.

But it's not my country, and I won't try to dictate what's right and wrong.

As for the logistics, intelligence officers and others who would get killed and captured, all I can say is that it would not be the first time the US has left those people to their fate. That is the price of being a global power playing global politics.

Clifford Kiracofe

We have been in the Middle East for the last couple of centuries and, I hope, we will be there for the next couple. We have a range of interests in the region. The issue, it seems to me, is how we will maintain our presence in the region and promote our interests over the long term. Certainly not with the rotting albatross of Israel hanging around our necks any more than with imperial crusades, Neocon or otherwise.

That said, we must have a serious regional policy, one that we have not had under the Greenwich preppie turned faux Texan.

Our diplomatic, military, and commercial presence in Iraq at the moment obviously needs a complete readjustment given the mess we have unnecessarily gotten ourselves into. The readjustment cannot be undertaken without a regional diplomacy that deals with the various actors/neighbors such as Syria and Iran, and key issues such as the Palestine Question. The Iraq Study Group report headed rightly in this direction and it is a bi-partisan consensus for reasonable leadership.

Reduction of US military presence in Iraq logically must be tied to an overall regional policy and regional diplomacy. A "cut and run" withdrawal does not solve our long term problems in the region and could increase them. The process of military force reduction must be placed within an overall policy context as the ISG pointed out. Phased withdrawal dates can be a matter on the table for regional diplomatic discussion. Pinning a US withrawal to dates certain without a prior regional diplomatic process does not seem to me to be the best overall strategy.

As much as the Neocons and some extremist Israeli circles would like a Balkanized Iraq and a Balkanized Middle East, this is not in our interest given the probable instability it would engender over the long term.

Per Vietnam, one can note the presence of a US Embassy in Hanoi these days.
http://hanoi.usembassy.gov/
Per South East Asia as a region, we can note the United States signed its first Treaty of Amity and Commerce with Siam back in 1833.

attaturk

So in summary your position is...

We have an untenable position that we cannot leave for the foreseeable future because we've managed to make a complete mess of a war we should never have fought.

GOD BLESS AMERICA!

Sounds like a good reason never to vote for the people that got us in involved in this in the first place.

Attaturk

No. My position is that a partial withdrawal of forces will be very dangerous. pl

John Howley

Traitor or (premature) Truthteller?

From the Guardian May 4, 2007

[start of quote]
A retired British army general says Iraq's insurgents are justified in opposing the occupation, arguing that the US and its allies should "admit defeat" and leave Iraq before more soldiers are killed.

General Sir Michael Rose told the BBC's Newsnight programme: "It is the soldiers who have been telling me from the frontline that the war they have been fighting is a hopeless war, that they cannot possibly win it and the sooner we start talking politics and not military solutions, the sooner they will come home and their lives will be preserved."

Asked if that meant admitting defeat, the general replied: "Of course we have to admit defeat. The British admitted defeat in north America and the catastrophes that were predicted at the time never happened.

"The catastrophes that were predicted after Vietnam never happened. The same thing will occur after we leave Iraq."

General Rose is a former SAS commander and head of UN forces in Bosnia. Last year, he called for Tony Blair to be impeached for going to war on "false pretences".

[end of quote]

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