In a new essay over at the Mojo City News, Cody Barstow asks some questions about Iraq that, frankly, nobody else is asking. He writes, in part:
Now, we’re being told over and over that we have to win in Iraq. That we can’t leave. It’s the same unexamined assumption that was made back in the Vietnam War.
Let’s question that assumption. Why do we have to win? Does anyone have any realistic idea of what would happen if we left right now? Not really. What we have instead are politicians and generals and commentators muttering the words “terrorism hotbed,” and not able to really go any further than that.
And that, folks, amounts to nothing more than an unexamined assumption. We remain at war because of an unexamined assumption?
Here’s what I believe will happen, since no one else is providing a reasoned projection, beyond saying that terrorism would flourish.
Civil war will probably hit the land and be resolved quickly. And there will be a partitioning of the country into Kurd, Shiite, and Sunni lands. And that’s likely all that would happen.
Terrorism (the great word of ambiguous fear) would not flourish, because the self-interest of each of the three ethnic groups would act to stop it.
Could it be that we could declare our own victory and leave, and even if the country went to the bad guys, the whole damned middle east thing does not ever go to hell? That the surrounding countries are too self-interested to allow for continued destabilization? That there would not be a hotbed of terror in Iraqland, and that the surrounding countries would act to control any spread of violence?
Is it possible that we could leave today, start packing right after we have dinner tonight, and the only thing that would come of it would be just another Vietnam-ending? Where the loss was limited to the one country, not the whole region?
I don’t know if Cody is right or not, but at the very least it seems like a bad idea to engage in the sort of adventure we’re bogged down in Over There without fairly addressing these sorts of questions. This is what happens when you rush to war, when you write the conclusions before you do the data collection, when you evaluate information based on predetermined outcomes.
An important bit of critical thinking. Read it and pass it on….