The case for staying in Iraq
The main point can be summed up in one word, “Somalia”. The problem with withdrawing the troops is the same problem we had back then, that the country would destabilize and hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people would die. (As an aside, the same characters who are refusing to “cut and run” now wanted to back then, and vice-versa. It appears that politicians only want to get out of wars the other side started.) Somalia is the only place in the world (besides Antarctica) that has no government. It is in a perpetual state of civil war. 25% of children don’t see the ripe old age of five. It is hell. If we leave Iraq now, it will end up like Somalia.
Look at it this way, if we leave Iraq, we’ll create another Darfur (we didn’t actually make Darfur into what it is now, but the situation there would be very similar to the one in Iraq). The same thing will happen, with one ethnic group massacring the other. If we pull out, without any kind of stabilizing force in our place, the Mahdi Army (the Shiite militias run by Sadr) will sweep into Baghdad and kill all the Sunnis. That’s five million people, nearly another Holocaust. Every day I see T-shirts and fliers saying “Help Darfur!” The very same people would almost certainly want to pull out of Iraq and condemn all those people to death; they want us to be responsible for another Holocaust.
Beyond the fact that five million people would die, the country would have no stabilizing force. It could quite easily start a regional war. It wouldn’t take much for Iran to go in. If the Muslim countries starting fighting each other, there’s a decent chance that Israel could fly off the handle and get into the fight (it’s happened for less). This situation is more speculative, but it’s definitely possible that pulling out right now would lead to a Middle-East brawl. No one wants that.
I understand that no one wants to be there. It seems pointless. It seems stupid. And it was. We overthrew a stable government for no good reason, which is completely and totally stupid. Our leaders were incompetent, we took many missteps, most of which trace back to Rumsfeld, Cheney, Bush, or Bremer. We shouldn’t be there because we never should have invaded. But we can’t leave now, not yet. There’s still too much at stake, and we have to wait until there’s some form of stable government. I know people will disagree with me, but remember, five million people, innocent people who have done nothing wrong, will likely die if we leave too soon, will die because of our actions. Just remember that when talking about withdrawing from Iraq.