Quagmire Exit Strategy
I would now like to address the Iraqi people, and I’ll be very brief. We’re leaving. Tomorrow morning, all US troops will be withdrawing from Iraq. Before you start firing guns in the air, which NRA safety guidelines discourage, take a moment to contemplate your situation. Until very recently, you were subjects of one the worst tyrannies in recent history. Now you are not. I had hoped you would embrace your freedom and institute a pluralistic, democratic republic, but I see that you have been slow to embrace this. It’s also started to seem like you actually resent our presence here, so we’re going to leave. I implore you, though, don’t throw away the opportunity. We got rid of Saddam for you, but only you can make a free society. In a couple more days, the only people here with guns will be you. What will you do with them? Will you use them to kill those of a different faith or tribe? Or will you put them away, reserving them for defensive purposes, and set about the business of figuring out how to live together? If you need advice about how to set up a constitutional regime, we stand ready to advise you – via email. If you want to attract businesses and investors, you’ll have to create your own peace and stability. If you’re going to take hostages and cut off heads, you’ll find no one wants to open an office here. So, please, take a day off in thoughtful contemplation – we call tomorrow “Veterans Day”; you can do the same if you like – and the day after that, we’ll be gone, and you’ll be on your own. The choice will then be yours – build a free, stable, and peaceful society, or commence a bloody civil war. We’ve removed the tyrant, the rest is up to you. We’ll be going now. Goodbye, and good luck. Call if you need anything.
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Chris Matthew Sciabarra - 11/10/2004
It would have been a good speech. :)
Alas, if the Sunnis decide they won't go along for the ride as they are now theatening, and the Kurds wish to go their own way (making trouble for Turkey and Syria and their Kurdish populations), and the Shi'ites wish to establish their very own Islamic theocracy ... well... if this be democracy, they can have it. We've got enough problems with the tribal dimensions in American politics.
John G. Pappas - 11/10/2004
Well, Aeon, of course that's not going to happen. Expect full democracy like ours in about 10 years. Maybe less. Then the media will get involved and the slanders and libeling and all the non-violent 'good' stuff of a real American-like government. Then talk-radio, Dan Rather, Evangelicals, Catholics, will join in, (I doubt any Israeli or Jew will ever be welcome - but who knows?) war records from Iran-Iraq conflict will be tossed about and we Americans will all have the last good laugh. Welcome to democracy Iraq.