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Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Nobody will follow the US troops home 

As Jon Stewart asked, if winning the streets of Baghdad is so damned important, why doesn't Bush send enough troops to do it?
It just demonstrates how this "clash of civilizations" stuff is only another talking point trotted out by the Republicans as they try to save their congressional majority and also try to intimidate the Democrats into voting for Bush's Big Brother phone tap bill.
What made Bush's speech ridiculous is simply this -- the US isn't going to "win" in Iraq, no matter how many troops they send, no matter how many bombs they lob, no matter how many Iraqis they kill.
Juan Cole makes a number of good points in this post about getting American troops out of Iraq. I'll try to summarize them:
. . . the US in the Sunni Arab heartland of Iraq is not fighting "terrorists" . . . The US is fighting Iraqi nationalists and nativists, secular, tribal or religious . . . This is Washington's classical Vietnam error. They thought they were fighting international communism in Vietnam, when they were actually fighting Vietnamese nationalists . . . Just as there was no grand global domino effect from our losing the Vietnam War, so there would be no grand terror effect if we left Ramadi . . . Ramadi is not going to follow the US troops back to Ft. Bragg if they leave. Ramadi will celebrate and then go about its business.
As for al-Qaeda, we cannot make policy on the basis of what it thinks of us . . . Al-Qaeda wants to hit us, whether we are in Iraq or not . . . The French Right kept saying that France could not leave Algeria. But it could, and did, and everything was all right. It will be all right if we get our ground troops out of Ramadi. They aren't winning there, and the occupation is causing more trouble than it is worth. As for who takes over Ramadi when we leave, well, the Iraqis can work that out among themselves. We don't care who runs Rangoon. Why should we care who runs Ramadi?

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