Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Iraqi People: Get Out Within a Year

Kevin Drum, over at TWM, links to the recent poll released by Program on International Policy Attitudes which clearly states the Iraqi population's -- Shia and Sunni -- attitude toward the U.S. occupation: Get the hell out of here as soon as possible.

Drum writes:
74% of Shiites and 91% of Sunnis want us to leave within a year (the number is 80% for Shiites in Baghdad). By wide margins, both groups believe U.S. forces are provoking more violence than they're preventing, and both groups believe that day-to-day security would improve if we left. Support for attacks on U.S. forces now commands majority support among both Shiites and Sunnis. And none of this is because of successful al-Qaeda propaganda: 94% of Iraqis continue to disapprove of al-Qaeda.

Now, it may be that these views are misguided. But it hardly matters: it's simply not possible for us to occupy the country successfully if a majority of Iraqis actively support attacks on our troops and a vast majority think we're responsible for the rising violence. It's time for us to leave.
If this is correct, I do agree with Kevin that we cannot stay and withdrawal is necessary. I am just so very afraid we have created the conditions for possible genocide. But without an enlightened leadership and multilateral coalition of partners could we even avert genocide if we wanted to? I say no and I don't believe the American people have the will for American soldiers to be the fleshy buffer between ethnic and religious hatreds.

The only problem is this: If the U.S. does leave, does anyone seriously think we won't be back there in some capacity within a decade?

Strategically, for the U.S. and those of us that believe in democratic internationalism, Iraq could've gone worse. Every U.S. interest in the region is worst off and democracy in Iraq is effectively dead.

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