Juan Cole Says the "US Out Now" Option Would Lead to Disaster
"I think "US out now" as a simple mantra neglects to consider the full range of possible disasters that could ensue. For one thing, there would be an Iraq civil war. Iraq wasn't having a civil war in 2002. And although you could argue that what is going on now is a subterranean, unconventional civil war, it is not characterized by set piece battles and hundreds of people killed in a single battle, as was true in Lebanon in 1975-76, e.g. People often allege that the US military isn't doing any good in Iraq and there is already a civil war. These people have never actually seen a civil war and do not appreciate the lid the US military is keeping on what could be a volcano."
Cole's comments are well taken. The irony is that our presence actually protects Iraq's Sunni Arabs(including the people primarily involved in the terrorism) from the previously abused Shiites and Kurds, often the victims of SUNNI terror. However, the violence has gone on so long that I fear the Shiites and Kurds will go on a rampage shortly after we depart, regardless of when we depart.