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Tuesday, October 02, 2007


 

What will happen in Iraq when the U.S. leaves?


If there's one thing I hate (ok, silly expression, there are a lot of things I hate), it's people who claim to "know" what will happen if/when U.S. forces leave Iraq. Of course their "knowledge" is always in the service of justifying their existing position - we "can't" leave Iraq because Iraq will descend into chaos, therefore we have to stay. And the people spewing that "knowledge" are quite often the same people who "knew" that Iraq had WMD, and who "knew" U.S. troops would be greeted as liberators, etc. So I'm not impressed with their "knowledge."

The fact is that no one knows what will happen. Even if I knew (which is impossible), it wouldn't change my position, which is that U.S. troops don't belong in Iraq, never belonged in Iraq, and should get the hell out, regardless of what happens. But...having said that, this story is rather instructive about what has happened in an area of the country from which foreign troops have been withdrawn:

Residents of Iraq's southern city of Basra have begun strolling riverfront streets again after four years of fear, their city much quieter since British troops withdrew from the grand Saddam Hussein-era Basra Palace.

Political assassinations and sectarian violence continue, some city officials say, but on a much smaller scale than at any time since British troops moved into the city after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion.

Mortar rounds, rockets and small arms fire crashed almost daily into the palace, making life hazardous for British and Iraqis alike in Iraq's second-largest city. To many Basrans the withdrawal of the British a month ago removed a proven target.
Yes, Basra is not a microcosm of the entire country, so this doesn't "prove" anything. It does, however, suggest that the "wisdom" from the "things will go to hell in a handbasket" crowd is rather less than a sure thing, as they (and much of the media) would have the American public believe.


Why stop here? There's more...

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