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21 November, 2005

Exit strategery

There's a lot of talk in the news about John Murtha's call for a US withdrawl from Iraq. It seems some heretofore yes men are finally getting pissed over George Bush's inability to devise an exit strategy (a skill he clearly lacks in this photo).
The reason a lot of folks give for wanting to leave is that Iraq is like "another Vietnam". In fact, there exists an entire debate over whether or not the comparison fits.
I don't think Iraq is another Vietnam. It is much more like another Israel, with the green zone playing the role of Sharon's "security fence". In both cases the people are living with an occupation army and with that a widespread sense of humiliation and rage persisits. Palestinians want the Israelis to return disputed land to them along with their autonomy, and the Iraqis want to rule their own affairs without the hand of the US. Among each occupied people there exists a rule of law crowd and a radical crowd that uses terrorism as a weapon. And in both cases there's an elusive foreign element meddling in the affairs of the people who actually have to live in the environment of violence and fear the outsiders prefer.
I'm not well-versed enough to argue the issues surrounding the Israeli occupation but it doesn't strike me that the eye-for-an-eye strategy of retalliation they've tried for so long has worked. Terrorists blow up a crowded bus and the Israeli army kills some terrorists and civilians. Nothing ever gets accomplished and a lot of innocent Israelis and Palestinians are killed. In Iraq, terrorists kill civilians and soldiers and we turn around and kill terrorists and civilians. Same shit, different location.
The Israelis look like they've had enough killing and are now trying a new approach-Palestinian statehood. It may not work, but for me it sure beats the same old violence begetting violence. The US doesn't seem to understand this and instead would like to pick up where the Israelis left off. Which strikes me as just plain hardheaded. No sensible person would call what Sharon is doing "retreat"-some might say brave-and neither would/should they use the term for a possible US withdrawl from Iraq. There's nothing weak in a proposal to end the needless suffering and death of US troops and Iraqi civilians. The people who ache for more of this bullshit are some grade "A" sadists who should be immediately deployed to the front lines.

Posted by JP |

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