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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!


Anonymous said...

But you are looking at the negative side of the US occupation. Remember that this has been a wildly profitable venture for some. And also remember that this is only this first step in transforming the entire Middle East region. There is much transforming and more money to be made yet ahead. The worse the situation in Iraq, the greater the need to act against Iran.

Richard McNally said...

Yes the Iraq misadventure has been profitable for defense contractors and military suppliers like Halliburton, but at the cost of an estimated 600,000 Iraqis killed and 4 million displaced as of 2006, according to Naomi Klein. An invasion of Iran would lead to more civilian deaths and displacements, and is unacceptable from a humanist point of view. Although it is arming the Iraqi insurgency, Iran is not at this time a clear and present danger to US national security, and not an entity against which we have the legal right to act in anticipatory self-defense at this time, in my opinion.