Infernal Ramblings
A Malaysian Perspective on Politics, Society and Economics

Cutting and Running from Iraq

Written by johnleemk on 9:17:15 am Mar 4, 2007.

After reading Americans Terribly Underestimate the Human Cost of Iraq, "peacekeeper" wrote:

Good post. As you know there are two wars happening in Iraq: The coalition vs Iraqis and Sunni vs Shiites. Most casualty figures don't separate the two (its quite impossible to track them anyway) and thus paint a very misleading picture of the situation.

I think many people realized by now that by going to war, the US removed the person whose finger plugged a hole that held up the entire dam - Saddam. I'm no supporter of his but rightly or wrongly, no one else had the brutal power to keep Sunni and Shiite apart. Brutal is the key word because I doubt any words can appease those two warring clans. When they removed him, the whole thing came crashing like a house of cards and an all-out civil war is unleashed. When the Americans cheered his death sentence, the thought I had was these stupid people were cheering their own funeral.

What can Uncle Sam do when people are bent on settling sectarian scores a thousand years old? Nothing. Its not their war and they've cut the bolts of two dragons loose. That's why I support the idea of a complete US pullout and let Iraq implode.

Sometimes we have to accept that only a total wipeout can make regeneration possible, even if the Shiites finishes off the Sunnis and Iran annexes Iraq. I'm sure any general will agree its easier to handle one war than a war within a war.

Just to put this bloodletting into historical context, we should ask how much blood did the first emperor of China shed trying to unify China. Would anyone say if it was right or wrong in retrospect. Probably not because that's how the world is. Through thousands of years, this is the inevitable result of civilization.

As for the Americans caring about war casualties, it strengthens the reason why one should distinguish people from government, something incomprehensible to the minds of terrorists. But for me, its a bit rich for Iraqis to claim the Americans don't care when they themselves have no qualms about killing each other.

I don't think the US ought to give up on solving the problem of Iraq. They have the moral obligation to at least clean up the mess they created, or give Iraq a chance of cleaning up the mess.

I just think the US is wasting its time having a military presence in Iraq, for the reasons you gave. Give the Iraqis an ultimatum, and if they aren't ready to preserve the peace in their own country by that date, pull out. Dump them.

At the same time, it may still be worth pursuing a loose federation or confederation. It would be difficult to split Iraq completely asunder, but dividing it into ethnic-based provinces might make things run a bit smoother.

It's obviously not an ideal solution, dividing the country so, but I'm not sure what choice we have. It's the only humanitarian solution for the medium run.

As you say, Iraq was propped up by Saddam, and Saddam alone. When he went, it collapsed, just as Yugoslavia collapsed after Tito's death.

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