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Leaving Iraq. More Powerful Arguments Against.

with 4 comments

there are some gambles that you just don't take. nation-building in iraq is definitely one of them

there are some gambles that you just don't take. nation-building in iraq is definitely one of them

Tom Ricks’ new book “The Gamble” is going to make some waves, and the author’s interview on NPR this morning is just the latest. This blog is an advocate of Obama leaving US troops in Iraq for the long term. It’s becoming increasingly clear that Obama is caught between a rock and a hard place in his Iraq policy. If he leaves he runs the risk of renewed violence after we’re gone. If he stays, he’ll be charged with breaking his promise to withdraw.

But facing the political heat at home in the short term would be far wiser than risking a bloodbath in Iraq after we close the door behind our last guys out, which will be bad news for US foreign policy and would cause an about turn from a fickle US public who’d suddenly tell him he should have stuck it out. Ricks makes the point in his NPR interview that he has ‘sympathy’ for Obama. Clearly, Bush left him with an intolerable mess and it will take superior leadership from our new Commander-in-chief to escape the jam with minimum damage. But in order to do so, hard choices have to be made. Obama has yet to prove he’s a tough choice kind of guy, despite his rhetoric to the contrary. Iraq is an arena that he has to get right.

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Written by coolrebel

March 4, 2009 at 10:49 am

4 Responses

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  1. The stupidity of the US action started in 2003 with the invasion based on erroneous intelligence, and a dose of utter ignorance from the US side. Even if one believes removing Saddam was that important, there are other means that should not have cost 4300 KIAs, and 700 B$ up to this point. The 2 nd big mistake is to round up indiscreminetly “combatants” in Afghanistan and move them to Gitmo. We should have imprisoned them there, NOT here (Gitmo)


    June 26, 2009 at 11:56 pm

  2. when it comes to the middle east i’m an eternal pessimist, cameron. there is no way the iraqi government will be able to cope with even the remotest sign of trouble without us holding their hand. and there’s going to be trouble i guarantee. i just believe the costs of leaving outweigh the costs of staying.

    regarding obama and risk, he wanted the job, and he wouldn’t have got it without the world being in serious doo-doo. i’m not certain that he has any choice but to leverage his political career. there’s no point being president unless you’re prepared to leverage your career, because after you’ve been president you have no place to go. pragmatism, in my view, is not risk, and it’s not enough to save our bacon.


    March 4, 2009 at 7:42 pm

  3. Again, it seems less and less like a decision that the POTUS has to make. Unless he is stubborn and hard-headed (Obama doesn’t seem to be), he’s going to listen to the Generals. A decision of no-decision, in other words.

    I’m no military strategist, therefore I don’t understand what justifies 35,000-50,000 troops remaining in Iraq indefinitely. I understand the presence, just not the numbers.

    To judge by Hicks’s pessimism (“It’s not going to be a democracy, it’s going to have a surprising level of violence, it’s probably going to be an ally of Iran and it’s probably going to be ruled by some sort of dictator, some sort of little Saddam,”), what good would actually be done by maintaining a presence in Iraq? Is he merely presenting a worst-case scenario of a post-occupation Iraq?

    Whatever happens, I have tentative faith that the pragmatic Obama will do the right thing, regardless of the political cost. He’s already proved himself a risk-taker by leveraging his political career against the budget and the stimulus, no?


    March 4, 2009 at 5:42 pm

  4. No. He is wrong. You are wrong if you agree with him. America should leave Iraq.


    March 4, 2009 at 11:21 am

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