Leave Iraq once and for all [Archives:2006/966/Letters to the Editor]

July 24 2006

John Shannon
[email protected]

The U.S.A. must leave Iraq at some point. No one can seriously argue against that eventuality. To remain in Iraq is too costly in American lives, American economic performance and international relations.

The crucial questions are how to leave and when.

Instead of some grand scheme taking place over 10 or 20 years, with the concomitant loss of life and economic viability, it could well be that a staged withdrawal makes the most sense.

Rather than waiting the years and years it will take to fully staff and train both the Iraqi military and police forces to protect Iraq's citizenry, the focus should be on getting one city running smoothly at a time. If one city can be seen to be governed well, with a full complement of Iraqi Army personnel and Iraqi police, then that would give some hope to all involved that eventually all the cities and regions of Iraq would receive the same benefits.

Peace and security is what it takes for a nation to achieve its full potential and in this case, a fully performing Iraq means secure and plentiful oil for the United States.

It is in everyone's interest to see this happen – including Iraq's neighbors, who would probably rather not have 350,000 troops from another continent so close by. It would be better for regular Iraqis, as the terrorists are only there because the Americans and British are. And, it would be better for the American taxpayer, as it is costing billions of dollars (of borrowed money) to continue the Iraq war. When push comes to shove, shouldn't the American voter have a say?

On top of all this, young, belligerent Islamists are converging in Iraq in the thousands, each and every month, taking up residence there and going out with the intention of causing injury and death to the coalition. Even if only one in ten of the Islamists manage to cause an American death or injury, such instances will add up to significant numbers, and won't be tolerated for long by the American people.

It is my opinion that it is time to design a plan based on this model, publicize it – and thereby, change the tone of the debate to a more positive one, as regards the Iraq war. Tangible signs of progress are welcomed by everyone observing this war.

This plan will allow real progress to be made – visible to all Iraqi's – now that the time has come for the U.S.A. and the UK to leave Iraq.

Thank you for your time.

(This article was also sent to the White House, Globalist.com, and the Saudi Embassy, Washington, DC. July 10/11, 2006.)