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The First Good Use to Which American Forces in Iraq Have Been Put?

09.29.2005 11:43 | DISPATCHES

Withdrawal from Iraq is like another issue dear to our sense of national security--the autonomy of individual cells in the new Al Qaeda. In both cases, the heart of the matter is being overlooked.

When it comes to Al Qaeda, cells aside, their pet project, nuclear terrorism, would still have to be signed off on by bin Laden. When it comes to withdrawal from Iraq, weighing the pros and cons is an exercise in futility since the US is building permanent bases there.

Unless, by withdrawal you mean squirreling our troops away on those bases. And where would they go on leave? To Basra--known as the Venice of the Middle-East--where they'd leisurely pole down its canals? I don't think so. It's either confined to base or R & R in Dubai.

The administration invaded Iraq: a. for oil, b. to keep it from shifting its oil trade from the dollar to the euro, c. to set up an alternative Middle-Eastern base to unstable Saudi Arabia, or d. all of the above. Whichever, now that it's sunk its hooks into this ancient land, there's no way it's going to retract them.

Meanwhile, it behooves us to acknowledge the motives of liberals reluctant to call for immediate withdrawal. Aside from Democrats, who fear being cast as doves, the reason many liberals don't want us to leave suddenly is a genuine concern for the Iraqi people. In other words, they actually believe American lives are worth keeping Iraq from getting totally sucked into the black hole of violence it currently teeters at the edge of.

I personally think the violence would magically recede if we am-scrayed out of there. One, however, could make the case that manning our post under the assumption, however dubious, that it will help stabilize Iraq, is the first good use to which American soldiers have been put there.


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