Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Debate in Iraq for removing US Forces

It is interesting to see the similarities between the Iraqi and Leftist American positions for the US leaving Iraq. There are some differences, naturally, but even those can be whittled down a little and be even more similar.

The Left in the West does not want the Iraqis to be Westernized if there is anyway to blame failure on Bush and the Right Wing. The Iraqis do not need to be Westernized, just brought up to a civilized modern standard so that they are less tempted to harm others unless attacked first.

Iraq: Shia Saddams Standing By: "The war is basically over in Iraq, but the peace brings with it a return to the corruption and inefficiency that has cursed this part of the world for centuries. There are other annoying habits, like demanding "compensation" for any real or imagined loss that might possibly be pinned on U.S. troops. It's also popular to demand, with a straight face, that U.S. troops fix utilities, schools and whatever else people want, but are unwilling to take care of themselves. Peace has not brought out the best in the Iraqi people.

The war is still going on, but now it's more of a police operation. U.S. and Iraqi forces are searching for several hundred known terrorists. Some of them are showing up outside the country, giving rise to the belief that al Qaeda has abandoned Iraq. This is apparently the case, but there are several other Sunni Arab terrorist organizations that will never give up. For these groups, tolerating Shia Arab rule of Iraq is a sin, and the sinners must be punished. Terror attacks are way down, but they can be expected to continue for years.

The U.S. is negotiating, with the Iraqi government, a renewal of its authority to operate in Iraq. This authority expires at the end of the year. As part of the negotiations, the Iraqis are asking for a timetable for the withdrawal of U.S. troops. This is popular with many Iraqis, especially those in the government who are getting rich by stealing oil money. As long as the American troops are in the country, auditors have armed protection and can be very effective at revealing the thefts and getting the thieves punished. This makes thieving government officials very uncomfortable. Corruption in general remains a major problem (as it is in all Middle Eastern countries). While many Iraqis would like to see clean government, they are usually not the ones who get elected (elections involve a lot of bribery and trading of favors.) "

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