How to Get Out of Iraq | The Nation


How to Get Out of Iraq

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Ray Close

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The first thing we have to adjust to is the reality that nationalism is the most significant force in Iraq today. It is replacing the genuine feelings of gratitude that many Iraqis had toward the United States immediately following their liberation. We have always had a set of objectives--based on neocon ideology, not Iraqi hopes--which are unattainable because they offend the spirit of Iraqi nationalism.

One, we want long-term strategic military bases. Two, we count on retaining significant influence over Iraqi oil policy. Three, we favor unrestricted foreign investment in a country that has a history of intense hostility toward alien ownership of the country's economic enterprises and natural resources. Four, we expect Iraq to support America's role in the Middle East peace process even when it would mean aligning Iraqi policy with that of George W. Bush and Ariel Sharon. Failure to achieve those four objectives will appear to both Republicans and Democrats to be a failure of Bush's overall Iraq policy. But the Administration has already boxed itself in to the point where there is no way it can modify those objectives to meet reality.

There has to be regime change in Washington. It's the only way to solve the Iraq problem.

Former CIA station chief in Saudi Arabia, he served for twenty-seven years as an "Arabist" for the agency.

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