I have been stewing on this post for quite a while. Everybody knows I shed my "just blogging on info security and process control" take a while ago basically because I don't need this site to support a business and I get bored talking about work even in my off time. So that hasn't stopped me. What has stopped me is that a good chunk of my readers are in a community that leans pretty liberal and the default liberal take on this stand might cost me what little patronage I have. As I thought about it though I realized that this assumption is pretty dumb. For one I am not giving everyone credit for their ability to dispassionately assess the implications and not blindly react and for another item I am overlooking the possibility that many might agree with me.
So simply put I Support Democracy in Iraq.
And at Classical Values
I probably take a bit of a different approach than the sites linked above but I still support it.
Regardless of the reason we entered the war. Regardless of whether it was right or the result of stupidity, negligence, disinformation or outright lies. What matters is that we (and several other countries) took actions that resulted in the destruction of infrastructure as well as political and social stability. One can argue whether that was good or bad all day but the end point is that
We Took Action.
Taking action and initiative results in assuming responsibility.
We have a responsibility to the people of Iraq to other countries in the region and ultimately to the world to ensure what stability and humanity that we can. Anything else is selfish and shortsighted.
So at this point the question becomes - Would stability and the human welfare of the people of Iraq be better served if we removed military presence or maintained it?
I don't think that the answer to that is as simple as either side would have you believe.
Most of the violence right now is Iraqi on Iraqi so it is naive to assume that will stop because we withdraw our troops. Likewise it is almost certain that our troops presence in many places serves as either a source of resentment or at the least as a target of existing resentment.
There are two extreme possible results of a troop withdrawal and draw down.
One extreme is that there is a intense civil war followed by a Pol Pot type ethnic cleansing in which hundreds of thousands of people (possibly millions) are maimed, tortured and killed and certainly millions are displaced. The violence spreads into neighboring states and results in a large scale regional upheaval that results in significant unrest and possibly violence in European and Asian Muslim populations.
The other possible extreme is that now that the American (and British because I doubt they will be willing to fill a gap left by us) antagonist is gone all of the factions sit around a campfire and sing Kumbiya.
Obviously the first is far more likely than the latter.
The most likely outcome is probably an extended civil war with hundreds of thousands of casualties ending with a Balkanized Iraq with Sunni, Shia and Kurdish Quasi-States possibly the the Shia being absorbed by Iran (in effect if not in fact) and the Kurdish State causing significant problems in Turkey (for right or wrong).
I say that we have a responsibility to ensure that Iraq turns out closer to Germany than Vietnam.
We have a responsibility based on having taken action.
We choose whether we "win" or "loose" this one based on our actions. In the long run we are perfectly capable of achieving any outcome unless we choose to accept a lesser one.
As for me. I choose to support democracy in Iraq.
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