Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Should the War Bandwagon Reverse Gears?

Joseph L. Galloway the senior military correspondent for Knight Ridder Newspapers and co-author of the national bestseller "We Were Soldiers Once ... and Young" in his last column has discussed the option of withdrawing from Iraq.

Now I've believed that this is the only good option for awhile. I believed that this war was wrong from the first days of the whisper campaign that eventually emerged as a media story back in 2002. There was plenty of evidence that Iraq did not have weapons of mass destruction, at least as good as the evidence that the Bush Administration tried to foist onto the American public to claim Iraq did have WMDs. I was skeptical of the Bush evidence and as we can see in hindsite, there was no evidence. We as well know that Iraq had no real connections to Osami bin Laden either.

These were deceptions, and no good can come of a war based on false assumptions, untruths, and fictious facts. The Viet Nam War began with similar misinformation given to the American public, the Gulf of Tonkin deception. Our best bet is to admit we started a war on mistaken information and procede from there.

We had to finally admit Viet Nam was a mistake, we need to do the same with Iraq. The sooner the better, as this will save American lives. The earlier we decide a pull-out is the correct solution for our mistake the better.

Galloway points out that Iraq will have to figure itself out after we leave. Viet Nam had to do the same. Iraqis will die from warfare guaranteed as long as we stay, they may die as well from internal warfare once we leave. We may have to find ways to lessen a possible civil war within Iraq, working with allies or the United Nations or neighboring countries may be the answer if there is one.

The Bush Administration is certainly pinning their hopes on an election in Iraq to keep civil war from breaking out, but more than likely an election that doesn't include much of the Sunni population is apt to spur civil war. The Bush Administration has been trying to juggle factions ever since day one of the war. They don't want a Shi'ite elected majority that might evolve into a Islamic government akin to neighboring Iran. They haven't really wanted to support the Sunnis who were aligned with Saddam Hussein. The Kurds in the north have had a sense of autonomy since after the Gulf War and that has been blossoming since the removal of Saddam, but this doesn't please Turkey with their Kurdish population that has had seperatist ideals.

As bad as Hussein was, he did keep the factions from blowing apart at the seams. Now that we invaded, we are in the position of Saddam, how to keep the country from exploding into civil war. Staying or pulling out, it doesn't appear that it will make a bit of difference, internal warfare is probably inevitable. Iraq may be similar to us in the United States to Viet Nam, but to the Iraqis it is more similar to Yugoslavia. Iraq is facing the strong possibility of becoming several countries, with no peaceful way of becoming so.

We hear many people saying it now, that there are no good solutions to Iraq. Of course we should have had this debate back before the war, when those who were saying that we would end up trying to run a mess were ignored. In fact those who spent time actually studying Iraq and seeing the pitfalls were usually called unpatriotic for not jumping on the war bandwagon. Well the bandwagon is idling in Iraq, should it stay or should it go?


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