Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Is a Moral Occupation of Iraq Possible?
Having trashed Iraq, we now have an obligation to help, somehow, the people still alive there. But we can't reconstruct the country till the sectarian fighting is over and done with. Our troops, as I've said earlier, need to be pulled out of harm's way, greatly reduced in number and repositioned in the desert, along with the embassy operatives and all other US personnel, the numbers of which should also be greatly reduced, and we need to be on call to help the Iraqis rebuild their shattered nation--once they have worked the sectarian hostilities out of their system. If partitioning the country is the only answer, or if UN peacekeepers are necessary, so be it. But that's the Iraqis' decision, not ours. A withdrawal to the desert in reduced numbers would signal the beginning of a moral, rational occupation by the US. We should not be using US troops as policemen in the middle of a civil war. Yet if our very presence in the country is an insult to the Islamic way of life and it is unrealistic to think the Iraqis will ever accept our help in rebuilding, and if the Shia-Sunni conflict is going to turn into an Arab-Israeli-type opposition . . . God it's hard to figure this thing out. If only we hadn't invaded!