Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Here's my response to the MoveOn.org Iraq survey:
In most respects I sympathize with those Iraqis who have said in so many words, "Just get out and let us deal with the possibility of civil war." And I am suspicious of our leaders' motivations: decades of U.S. foreign policy show that we are more interested in so-called "stability" in the Middle East (which largely translates to stability of the oil supply) than in democracy. I fear that those Democrats who talk about U.S. troop increases--such as Hillary Clinton and yes, John Kerry--may themselves be more interested in the oil supply's stability (a keystone of American hegemony) than in the safety of our troops--though they are certainly under tremendous stress because of the decisions made by Rumsfeld's Pentagon. At the same time, to simply leave the china shop in a shattered condition strikes me as immoral. I support--and I hope Kerry will support--a plan similar to that outlined in Peter W. Galbraith's article "How to Get Out of Iraq" in the May 13, 2004 issue of THE NEW YORK REVIEW OF BOOKS (http://www.nybooks.com/articles/17103). Establishing a loosely federal government in Iraq (with the support of the United Nations) would enable us to withdraw our troops in the most timely fashion. This seems like the only way to ensure a reasonable amount of self-determination for the Kurds, Sunnis, and Shi'a. Will it transform the Middle East according to the dreams of Wolfowitz and the other neocons? Of course not. But anyone who dreams that the so-called war on terror can be won through military force, through a Westmoreland-esque war of attrition, is not dreaming of peace, or even of victory. It is a dream of perpetual war for war's own sake. We must awaken from it, now.

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