As with every call by politicians and activists to pull American troops out of Iraq, I always have to ask, "What then?" Sure, it would be good for US troops to come home, rejoin their families, return to their normal lives, and, most importantly, remove themselves from harm's way, but what about the fate of the Iraqis who are left behind? However misguidedly or wrongly the US military was led into the war, what resulted was the stirring up of a hornets' nest of repressed ethnic hatreds, growing religious fundamentalism and political imbecility. Is it fair or decent to Iraqis simply to leave to them a mess of America's making? Hayden offers no answer to this question, and he dismisses these concerns that all the leading Democratic candidates share. Indeed, he mocks John Edwards for worrying about genocide upon our exit by placing quotation marks around the word. Given the seething resentments among a sick stew of political and religious factions, genocide is a very real possibility without there being some semblance of order before our troops leave.
I was against the war from the beginning, and my heart aches every time I read about US casualties, but, for better or worse, the US has a responsibility to leave Iraq in better shape and in a more secure state than it exists at present. We owe it to the Iraqi people, we owe it to their neighbors who don't want a failed state next to them and we owe it to the world to promote a correct vision of democracy and stability.
Tim W. Brown
New York, NY
Dec 10 2007 - 12:05pm