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Web Letters | The Nation

Web Letter

When reading the statistics Engelhardt gathered on the war in Iraq, one cannot but feel disgusted and appalled by the loss of the billions that are being spent on the destruction of a country that has never participated in any act of aggression or threat against the US. It is quite clear and obvious to all reasonable men and women on this earth (apart from Bush & co and their troubled "secular" supporter Christopher Hitchens) that the crimes that have been committed must be answerable, and those men and women who must answer for the crimes are not far away from the White House or the top commanders in the Pentagon and those field commanders who, despite their knowledge of their breach of international law, continue to act criminally. The urgent demand of people in the US and elsewhere is the immediate withdrawal of American troops, compensation payments to Iraq and trials of all those in the chain of command for committing criminal acts in Iraq.

Daoud Khoury

Jerusalem, Israel/Palestine

Aug 15 2007 - 4:13pm

Web Letter

Withdrawal from Iraq will be by no means simple, but it is unavoidable. It seems clear today that the majority of Americans favor bringing our troops out of harm's way. It has been voiced as a political request to our politicians to disengage our military people from that obscene internecine civil war and its rampant terrorist activity. There is also a sizable portion of the country, among them the mainstream of the Democratic Party, who state that Iraq should take responsibility of its own future, develop a stable country and a healthy society and institutions.

At last, an increasing number of well-intended Americans want to restore to the nation its credibility in the international arena, as well as to regain a feeling of common decency by stopping our involvement in that carnage and the obviously immoral use of torture, white phosphorus on civilian populations and the killing and maiming of innocent children.

The differing positions about the withdrawal seem to reside in the various proposed dates for a timetable rather than on its possibility. The withdrawal will happen; either before or after the conclusion of the Bush Administration, but its occurrence is certain. What seems to be uncertain is the level of responsibility we are prepared to undertake.

The US government, with the backing of the legislative branch of power and the undeniable support—albeit misled—of the population as a whole, decided to attack and invade Iraq, despite the UN's advice, the opinion of the weapons inspectors on the field and all sound recommendations. We invaded a sovereign country under the most indecent banner of all: pre-emptive war. With such an excuse, we toppled a government we disliked. We created a court of the most dubious kind and allowed it to perform the grotesque hanging of the captured ex-dictator to be broadcast over the world, showing the world what values we were putting forward.

With the arrival of our troops, composed mainly of the poor and the hopeless and newly arrived immigrants, we opened the path to newly fueled partisan hatred on Iraqi soil. Most incredibly, with the corruption of our management and the corruption of the puppet government we put in power, we finally brought to Iraq the shock and awe of Al Qaeda.

It is clear that we have to get out of Iraq. What should be clear as well is the immense debt we have contracted with the Iraqi people. I presume that it is sufficiently obvious both that we cannot solve the Iraqi turmoil by ourselves and that we are responsible to help bring Iraq out of the crisis we have created. I believe the only chance we have to bring some comfort to our future generations from the hate and perils we are passing to them as inheritance is to solve this conundrum.

A possible solution after withdrawal might be for us to fund the UN to have non-American armed forces in Iraq to curtail the raise of sectarian terrorism, impose an enforceable peace-keeping and allow the formation of a functional government. Secondly, we need to give the UN the necessary economic support for the reconstruction of Iraq, with the express prohibition for American companies to gain contracts in that process. It is a moral imperative that we do not profit from it.

This would need to be an extremely expensive program, perhaps much more than what we spent in the reconstruction of Germany and Japan together; after all, Iraq never attacked us. This perhaps could bring about long-lasting stability in the region and with it some peace may come to our nation's conscience. It seems to me improbable that we, as a people, will soon vote to increase taxes in order to save our future by financing the future of a people so alien to us; but I prefer to believe that, eventually, we are going to assume the cost of our actions.

Alonso Álvarez de Araya

Austin, TX

Aug 14 2007 - 2:45pm

Web Letter

Any "success" reported in Iraq, will be--because "somewhat" like the Bush Administration--Al Qaeda does not play well with other people. It is their way, or they will kill you. Since they represent a minority viewpoint, they will over time annoy everyone. They have now annoyed the Sunni Iraqis, and they have turned on them. Once the Al Qaeda threat is eliminated, the Sunnis will again turn their attention back to American troops, if they remain in Iraq. The insurgents have been very open about this "temporary" alliance. Once our mutual enemy has been eliminated, you had better leave, or we fight again.

We do not have the troops or the industrial infrastructure to support a long-term occupation of Iraq. One of the major reasons Hamilton wanted to industrialize America was for national defense. He didn't want us to run and beg for arms from a foreign country, as we did during the American Revolution. The brainless twits in the White House and Congress are too busy outsourcing our industries and jobs for cheap labor and no health or safety codes to worry about national defense.

They are creating privatized "armies" with high pay, but run on the cheap for higher profits. They are insourcing these people from poor countries, so the "high pay" will soon vanish too. These people will die like flies because they are not a real army with force protection.

We need to get out of Iraq yesterday!

Pervis J. Casey

Riverside, CA

Aug 14 2007 - 2:08pm

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