Saturday, January 27, 2007


More on Iraq

It is far too late to avoid a bloodbath in Baghdad, with or without American troops, unless we send hundreds of thousands, and they know Arabic and the local culture. That number of troops does not exist, nor are they anywhere near likely to have the proper knowledge.

Recall that opponents of pulling out of Vietnam prophesied a bloodbath if the US withdrew; there certainly was one, especially in Cambodia. There will be one in Iraq too, just as there was when Britain pulled out of the Indian sub-continent after 250 years, as there has been in Algeria after the French pulled out, as there has been in Sudan almost ever since the British left, and on and on. We can try to mitigate the effects after we pull out; we can offer refugeee status, we can offer aid, we can offer various kinds of carrots for good behavior, but we do not know how to keep the bloodbath from happening. Should we have stayed forever in Vietnam and Cambodia? Wouldn't our staying have been predicated on a continuing bloodbath?

Isn't the lesson that has to be brought home very insistently that we should both get out now and make very sure that we cease to believe we can impose our values and will by force on the rest of the planet? That will not end world violence, but it might well lessen it. To me, killing more in the hopes that others will not kill more would be a tragic mistake.
Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?