A Debate on Withdrawl from Iraq

The sentiment “If I go there will be trouble/Si me voy – va a ver peligro/And if I stay it will be double/Si me quedo es doble,” in the words of the Clash, haunts debates about Iraq, with disagreements about how “go”, “trouble”, “stay”, and “double” pair up.  In Against the Current, three views on the merits and dangers of a US withdrawl from Iraq.  One pro withdrawl view:

[Susan Weissman]: There’s this sense that if the United States were to leave—now that the Ba’athists and Shi’ite militants are more organized than they were before, and that there’s even splits within them with more radical elements within each sector, including the jihadists—that if there were even just redeployment or planned withdrawal, it would encourage them and all hell would break loose.  And there’s even the notion that maybe Turkey would invade, maybe Kuwait would try to reclaim…can you give us a kind of scenario of what you think could happen?

[Gilbert Achcar]: One could imagine and draw all kinds of apocalyptic scenarios, but there is apocalypse now, we are in the midst of it. And of course, it could get worse…but it is getting worse.  It is getting worse day after day. And it has been proved very very obviously, very factually, that the longer the U.S. troops stay in that country the worse it is getting.

No one can dispute that since day one of the invasion up until now the situation has steadily worsened—look at all the figures, it’s absolutely terrible.  The idea that the United States should stay there even longer to prevent it from deteriorating is completely absurd.  It’s clear, it has been tried and tried and over-tried, and the conclusion is clear, the U.S. troops should get out of that country if that country is ever to recover.

Now, I’m not saying that it’ll be paradise as soon as U.S. troops get out, that’s not the point.  We, the antiwar movement, were the people who were saying that if the invasion took place, it would lead to chaos.  We were saying that during all the long period before the invasion.  The invasion took place, and exactly what we predicted happened.  It led to a chaotic situation, a very dangerous situation.