Saturday, September 17, 2011

McCain and Pals are at it Again: More US Troops in Iraq

From the usual suspects: The song that never ends.  McCain, Lieberman, and Lindsey, in the WaPo: setting up Obama to be the guy who "lost" Iraq.

The Iraqi leaders really, really want us to stay; Iraq will fall apart if we don't; we need to maintain as many as 25,000 troops there, or else al-Qaeda and the nefarious Persians will take over.  And the US budget? Not a problem, say they.

They seem to have missed those stories about how Muqtada al-Sadr has threatened to call out his militias to go after US forces if they stay.  Is he bluffing? Who knows.  If he's not, and Sadr City and much of southern Iraq rise up against US forces, could US forces light 'em up?  Maybe.  

You'd call that a "win" for the US?  Do you really believe that the already riled up "Arab street" will simply sit still as US forces chew up hundreds more Arab lives?  Do you really believe that Israel won't be made to pay a price that might drive it into retaliations, which could perhaps touch off a regional war?

Gentlemen, is your American exceptionalism so overweening that you'd roll the dice with the fate of an entire region - not to mention the lives of American men and women who have probably seen as much of Iraq  as they'll ever want to, and who probably know much better than do you, that a continued US military presence - be it 3000, be it 25,000 troops, staying one more year, staying 5 more years - will never be enough to "fix" what's wrong in Iraq?

In all likelihood, keeping US troops there will

  • be a magnet for more attacks by "al-Qaeda" and Shii militias - with Shii militias supported from Iran, and Sunni al-Qaeda groups funded from Saudi Arabia
  • provide more opportunity for provocations that will lead to armed conflict with Iran (something that Lieberman and Graham would likely love to see happen)
  • provide cover for Mr. al-Maliki to solidify his regime, make his security forces ever stronger, and destroy whatever threat he may feel from the disempowered Sunni Arabs of Iraq - in effect, a new Saddam-type regime.

The American people elected Barrack Obama in 2008 on the promise that he would get the US out of Iraq.  Let him keep that promise.

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