Thursday, May 21, 2009

Iraq: Why Leaving Slowly Isn't Enough

A subject that came up recently was Why I Didn't Vote in 2008, and my answer was Obama Wasn't Going To Leave Quickly Enough. But pressed with the question, what's so great about leaving quickly, Leaving The Iraqis Out To Dry, I found myself unable to answer. While cleaning up after dinner, I found myself musing on the subject, and I think I have an answer.

I'd forgotten, since it'd been a moot point for some time now, but originally, the Iraq (totally not a) War was not, for me, about America vs. The Terrorists, or America vs. the Islamist Extremists, or America vs. The Insurgents, or any form of America vs. Those Guys Over There. I was well aware that nobody in Iraq had anything to do with the 9/11 attacks (or at least, nobody that anybody knew of). So far as I was concerned, America had nothing to do with anything going on in Iraq. Regardless of whoever else was involved across the seas (in this case, the enemy of my enemy is definitely not my friend, nor does he need to be), the Iraq War (sic) was to me about a coalition of military suppliers, oil companies, Iraqi exiles, others who thought they might gain from the conflict, and a few genuinely deluded souls, vs. the American People, and our Constitution.

It is my understanding that military officers, congressmen, and the President himself swear an oath to defend the Constitution against all enemies, "foreign or domestic." My opinion: exiles seeking to embroil this nation in their own conflict? Foreign enemies. Big business interests seeking the same end for their own purposes? Domestic enemies. I was well aware that the "conflict" part of the Iraq "War" would end during the next administration, regardless of who won the election. The only question was, would it happen quickly enough to burn those who were reaping an advantage from the fight? Would it be a victory over the enemies of the Constitution, both Foreign and Domestic? Because that's what the election of 2008 was about, for me.

A quick and total withdrawal from Iraq would have hurt the balance sheets of the military supply companies reaping American tax dollars, by bringing a swift end to the practice. For the big oil companies, dreams of securing advantageous contracts with a compliant Iraqi government established with other people's money would have quickly gone up in smoke. The exiles who lobbied to have us fight their enemies for them would have suddenly found that their "allies" had signed a separate peace... their own plans foiled.

And what of the Iraqi People, who had to go through military invasion and occupation, all for naught? The people whose hearts bleed fat the thought are often the very same people for whom there is an acceptable level of "collateral damage" (that is, the destruction of the lives and livelihoods of noncombatants) to be had in war. So lets just call it that: the fate of the Iraqis after we "leave them hanging" or whatever is "collateral damage"... with a difference: neither I, nor anyone else involved in our side of the conflict are the ones pulling triggers and pushing buttons, if indeed the nightmare scenarios painted by some supporters of the "slow withdrawal" are, in fact, the actual result.

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