Iraq Out How
October 29, 2007 5:46 PM   Subscribe

The focus of the current issue of Mother Jones is the Moral Dilemma of Leaving Iraq.
posted by shotgunbooty (27 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
It started as Bush's war, but we all own it now—and it's time we took a hard look at what that means. Conversations with more than 50 experts, from General Petraeus' advisers to antiwar activists
posted by shotgunbooty at 5:47 PM on October 29, 2007


Moot arguement -
we're never leaving Iraq.

Next outrage please.
posted by i_am_a_Jedi at 5:52 PM on October 29, 2007


Thanks for the heads up on this shotgunbooty. This is gonna take some time but I will be sure to read it.
posted by ranchocalamari at 5:59 PM on October 29, 2007


I agree with Jedi, we're not leaving Iraq anytime soon. However, I've been hearing from some tighty-whitey-righties that we're winning the war against terrorism.

(That is; some who have been funding the war against the "West" are tired of watching people die.) Sounds like BS to me, but it's better than everything in the mid-east being fruitless.

FWIW, I did skim through the text without finding anything shiny and new.
posted by snsranch at 6:17 PM on October 29, 2007


I bookmarked it to re-visit next time I have free time, but one thing I wish more people would read was the page detailing how the war has affected an average Iraqi family.
posted by Tacos Are Pretty Great at 6:38 PM on October 29, 2007


Leaving Iraq and maintaining military bases there are two different (albeit related) things. We want to keep our hand in, swell, whole other issue than busting into houses and so forth, all the in your face stuff we’re doing now. We can stop the latter. Debatable whether we want bases there or not, or how we maintain them, what the deal is with the new government, all that. But all that talk aside, we can stop busting heads - now.

That, and I have to go with Galbraith - It is important to avoid confusing a moral obligation with an achievable mission (and fuck the "country", that's just a collection of borders, it's the people who need help).

But what’s this “we” crap, kemosabe?
Once a new administration gets in, there’s no “we.” The Bush administration started this war. This congress allowed it to continue. And still does. Where it goes under someone else’s leadership is up to them. Doesn’t look promising, but the first step in stopping the pain of sticking your foot into a hornet’s nest is to take your foot out of the hornet’s nest.
From there we can honor our commitments, take care of refugees from the civil war, do whatever we can to mitigate the damage caused from us leaving. Humanitarian stuff that doesn’t involve bombing the country into the shape we want it to be in.
posted by Smedleyman at 6:56 PM on October 29, 2007


We own it now? What the fuck does that mean? The Iraqis own the country and they (at least the Sunnis and Shiites Arabs) want us to get the hell out, so we should.

I don't think we've pissed off Kurds yet, so I personally wouldn't mind if we helped support them, but only as long as they wanted us there.

This whole argument that we have to stay for the Iraqi's sake totally ignores the fact that that they want us to leave.

"We have to keep sacrificing ourselves for the Iraqis. Also we need to keep ignoring everything they say they want! "
posted by delmoi at 7:41 PM on October 29, 2007


Iraq: the victim of rapes most brutal,recognizing her attacker leading the rescue squad giving her aid.
posted by hortense at 7:46 PM on October 29, 2007


I don't know if they want us to leave. If we do, wont the country just make the final descent towards complete ethnicity driven civil war?

I did not support going to Iraq, but I think once we went, we are obligated to stay for the long haul. Fuck Bush(read Cheney) for the horrible idea, and even worse implementation of this fiasco.

OTOH, I don't understand the Dems position of just leaving Iraq. I want Iraq to fail, I want Bush's time in office to be remembered as the worst presidency *ever*. I dont want this to succeed so that one day 25 years from now when there is only one car bombing a week, Bush can hobble out and be like: "SEE I WAS RIGHT ALL ALONG." But thats just evil.

We have to do more. Bush and Company's hawkish end-times wet-dream sucks. But maybe with a better game-plan, we can turn this around after Nov?
posted by rosswald at 7:57 PM on October 29, 2007


We broke it, we can't buy it, stop breaking it worse.

Of course in reality I agree with those above saying we won't be out anytime soon. If one of the "front runner" Democrats win, we'll maybe reduce troop levels, but we'll still be in. Maybe only killing people half as fast.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 8:04 PM on October 29, 2007


we are obligated to stay for the long haul

you got a turd in your pocket?
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 8:14 PM on October 29, 2007


Here's your moral dilemma: the longer America stays in Iraq, the more harm it does.
posted by 3.2.3 at 8:30 PM on October 29, 2007


rosswald said: I did not support going to Iraq, but I think once we went, we are obligated to stay for the long haul.

I've heard other people say that too... But, what do you mean by "the long haul" and what does that entail?
posted by amyms at 8:33 PM on October 29, 2007


We need to GTFO before we are removed from the game.

Just get out. Leave. We've left before with someone else holding the bag, what's stopping us this time?

Oh yeah, perpetual no-bid defense contracts.
posted by chlorus at 9:47 PM on October 29, 2007


The Bureaucracy, the March, and the War
posted by homunculus at 10:03 PM on October 29, 2007


It started as Bush's war, but we all own it now

Like hell.

This is what lets the Democrats get away with reneging, completely, utterly, and without shame, on the one fucking promise that got them elected. Did you vote for them? Did you think they'd get us out of this thing? If so, you got played just like every fundie who voted for Bush believing that this time they were really going to crack down on those gays. abortionists, adulterers, and anything that might lead to dancing. Rove pulled this shit off for the better part of two full terms. I'm hoping anti-war Democratic voters realize they're the ones getting thrown under the bus this time before November '08 rolls around.
posted by enn at 10:20 PM on October 29, 2007 [2 favorites]


We gave you purple fingers, now we are going home. If you want to kill each other fine. Please don't though.
posted by caddis at 1:49 AM on October 30, 2007


enn is on the right track. Too many Democrats at best, doing too damn little (I don't like to think of the 'worst'). Only thing that can change that is replacing the do-nothings like Nancy Pelosi and Diane Feinstein (just the two that came to mind). Easier said than done!

If we left Iraq, they'd either settle down and sort things out, or it'd end up Saudi vs. Iran, by proxy, if not in fact. How bad would that be? I suppose it wouldn't be tolerable, too much interference with oil production.
posted by Goofyy at 5:13 AM on October 30, 2007


"I've heard other people say [long haul] too... But, what do you mean by "the long haul" and what does that entail?"

Until we can rest assured that Iraq and THE ENTIRE REGION wont become genocidal refugee shit storm. I mean honestly, it just seems like if we leave now we will have a huminitarian crisis on our hands much much worse than Darfur. Usually our country is too self centered to stop these kinds of things (no oil, no right to live). But in this case it would be OUR fault, and we are ALREADY THERE.. If we leave now, we might just be forced to come back, or just watch hundreds of thousands get slaughtered.

"We gave you purple fingers, now we are going home. If you want to kill each other fine. Please don't though."
I disagree so strongly with the sentiment expressed here there aren't words.
posted by rosswald at 5:36 AM on October 30, 2007


I mean honestly, it just seems like if we leave now we will have a huminitarian crisis on our hands much much worse than Darfur.

sweet jesus. the fog of ignorance that persists around the subject of iraq despite all the efforts to raise public awareness is mind-boggling. but then, i suppose it's only natural since it would be psychologically crippling for the average american to truly come to terms with the full horror of what we've done to the iraqi people and their nation.

we already have a humanitarian crisis an order of magnitude worse than the one in darfur in iraq! that's according to the same people who've told us that darfur is such a humanitarian crisis.

and we fucking caused that humanitarian crisis. and no amount of well-intentioned, we've got to stay the course and take responsibility bullshit is going to "fix things" because we broke it completely. we razed what had once been a relatively modern developed nation.

iraq is in a state of low-level civil war now. and since that war started, we've thrown support behind different factions at different times and have been selling weapons to all sides all the while, and now we're going to swoop in and somehow pull off a miraculous diplomatic success story in such a situation--a situation in which even honest brokers without blood on their hands would have a tough time making progress?

bullshit. this isn't about helping iraqis or the iraqi people. it's about our nascent guilt. it's selfishness. it's about not wanting to give up hope that we still have some chance to be the good guys again, no matter what the cost in lives to the people we're supposedly "saving." in short, this is basically just the same kind of self-invested, sociopathic thinking that put us in iraq in the first place.
posted by saulgoodman at 6:49 AM on October 30, 2007 [6 favorites]


As a partial owner of the war, I would like to sell my share. Any takers?

Really though, the war isn't like a birthday present puppy that you didn't ask for but your uncle thought would be good for you because it will make you more responsible, and then you figure out that it is just too much work and now you want to get rid of it so you put up an ad on Craigslist and offer it to a good home. No one wants to take the war off our hands, and there is nothing cute and fuzzy about it to make the struggle worthwhile (the spectres of freedom and peace have long since passed as achievable goals).

Because we can't give it away, and because we keep spending tax dollars on it, it is all of ours, whether we wanted it in the first place or not.

I think leaving gracefully, not just to assuage our guilt for breaking their country but to try to mend at least a few diplomatic relationships in the area, is important if we want to maintain any sort of foreign policy other than "attack."
posted by rmless at 9:27 AM on October 30, 2007


Any moral dilemma related to leaving Iraq is outweighed by the moral dilemma of staying in Iraq, IMO.
posted by Artifice_Eternity at 10:54 AM on October 30, 2007


Any moral dilemma related to leaving Iraq is outweighed by the moral dilemma of staying in Iraq, IMO.
posted by Artifice_Eternity at 1:54 PM on October 30 [+] [!]


That is precisely the issue.
posted by caddis at 12:00 PM on October 30, 2007


When no major candidate for President -- not even Barack Obama, who alone among them opposed the invasion in the first place -- will promise to withdraw the troops, it should probably be expected that the troops aren't going to be withdrawn.

It's not like there's any precedent for withdrawing troops: we never left Germany, we never left Japan, we never left Korea, we never left Kuwait, and we only left Vietnam under the (mistaken) impression that a peace had been secured between North Vietnam and South Vietnam, and that the South Vietnamese were competent to protect themselves against violations.

I think the Congressional Democrats are being given an unfair shake regarding withdrawal. They made no institutional promise, "Contract with America"-like, to withdraw any quantity of troops at any particular time. Individual candidates certainly touted a variety of positions, up to and including withdrawals, but the overall message was "we'll demand better strategy and execution from the President, we'll look for an exit where and when prudent, and we won't make the same mistake elsewhere." Whether they are fulfilling those promises, I don't know, but it's certainly a subtler set of questions.
posted by MattD at 12:52 PM on October 30, 2007


I think the Congressional Democrats are being given an unfair shake regarding withdrawal. They made no institutional promise... Whether they are fulfilling those promises, I don't know, but it's certainly a subtler set of questions.

That's a nice understanding you have there, MattD, but it's not one shared by most of the voters who helped the Dems sweep the midterms. And if the Dems don't figure that out soon, the Repubs' strategy of making them look ineffective and weak-kneed might work a lot better than expected.

But who cares anyway? If the Dems really are as sympathetic to the Republican position as you suggest, then I don't suppose many Dems really see it as all that urgent a matter whether they hold their majority or not.

If this is to be believed the Neo-Con hawks in Freedom Watch seem to think the Dems' are doing such a good job of making their case for them that they don't even need to bother with their planned propaganda campaign for war with Iran.
posted by saulgoodman at 1:10 PM on October 30, 2007


Why Did We Invade Iraq Anyway? Putting a Country in Your Tank
posted by homunculus at 6:11 PM on October 30, 2007


Cashing In on Terror
posted by homunculus at 12:47 PM on October 31, 2007


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