Saturday, May 21, 2005

What happens if we leave Iraq *now*?

Even many of those who opposed the war in Iraq now claim we must "stay the course" because if we leave "there will be civil war". I don't buy it. That sounds like an excuse, not like reality.

I've heard all sorts of dire predictions of what happens in Iraq if we just pick up and leave. I consider all those predictions to be so much bull****. Iraq is not Somalia, filled with ignorant tribesmen. Iraq is a civilized, well-educated country with enough natural resources to sustain its citizens. The reality is more likely to be similar to what happened the *last* time we toppled the government of Iraq -- and left. After about a week of chaos, one strongman managed to accumulate enough support in order to take charge, and he swiftly put the majority of the country in order, other than the northern Kurdish portion which even today is a de-facto "Kurdistan". He did this by playing off the various factions against each other, giving the Shia some special priviliges that they didn't previously have such as the right to run their own religious schools for girls, giving the tribes autonomy over civil matters in their areas, etc. as well as by judicious application of force where necessary, Oh sure, he probably killed 100,000 Iraqis in the process, but we've killed that many Iraqis too, and we haven't even restored order, and are nowhere near even *attempting* the complicated balancing act that kept that strongman, Saddam Hussein, unsteadily perched on top of that powder keg for close to 10 years after we toppled him the first time.

In short, I don't believe there's going to be a civil war in Iraq, other than perhaps on the same lines as happened in Saddam's time (i.e., the Kurds get their Kurdistan up in the north, and the Shia and Sunni come to an arrangement in the south). If we pulled out today there'd be a lot of bloodshed for a couple of months -- Saddam killed maybe 100K people last time we did that -- but sooner or later, a "Saddam Lite" would step up and restore order and everybody in Iraq, at least, would breathe a sigh of relief.

Of course that would be the end of the neo-cons dream of democracy in Iraq, so they're going to fight it tooth and nail, but in my opinion the neocons have already proven it's impossible to impose democracy at gunpoint -- it's time to just get out and let the Iraqis handle what's of interest to the Iraqis, only intervening if our own national interests are at issue. A people has to be ready for democracy before democracy is possible. As the United States proves, not all nations have a population that is ready or willing to do what it takes to create and/or maintain a working democracy, and all that happens if you try to impose it at gunpoint is a lot of dead people.

The end result is the same, anyhow. The Iraqis are, in the end going to detirmine what form of government they have in their country, no matter how much we attempt to impose a government at gunpoint. All we're doing is prolonging the bloodshed.

-- Badtux the Realist Penguin


  1. wait a minute...just a couple of sayings over at skippy you were bad tux the troll penguin.

    don't go all multipersonalities on us now...when we need your snark the most.

  2. Trolling again, Penguin? ah, don't go changiing.

  3. if we leave "there will be civil war"...
    as opposed to "if we stay there IS civil war"?? Well, Duhh!

    thanks 'tux!

  4. Jillian, I am a penguin of many personalities. At various points in time I have been the Attorney General, Bush's Brain, and only the Great Penguin knows who else. You just caught the "Earnest eater of herring" personality here, that's all. '

    -- Badtux the Multiple Personality Penguin

  5. I think we are now delaying the inevitable. They will either be going to war amongst themselves, or they will managed somehow to come together and form a stable government.

    In either case, we are doing nothing but looking like inapt fools.

  6. I briefly flirted with the "We broke it, we need to fix it" notion.


    I say, out now. Not gonna change the consequences of this fiasco by staying. Out now.

  7. Howdy tux.. I like the way you think.. Only problem is that comparing Iraq now to Iraq 15 years ago is not going to lead to the correct conclusions.

    15 years ago there was only one organized army in Iraq - Saddam's. If we had invaded in 2003 and left immediately then the Baath would come back to power very quickly.

    Now we have established a Shia army and the foreign jihadis have come in to muck up the picture. If we leave now the Sunnis and the Shiites are going to massacre each other and I don't know who will win... In the end somebody is going to come to power, but whether it will be Saddam Lite, or Khomeini Lite is unclear...

    So there probably will be a civil war. Thats perhaps not a good reason to stay, but its something to consider..

  8. There's *ALREADY* a civil war, Bubba. And our troops are in the middle of it, getting shot at by both sides.

    Realistically, the Iraqis are going to detirmine their destiny. The United States lacks the willpower to do what it takes to impose its own will All we're dong by staying there is delaying the day of reckoning.

    -- Badtux the Realist Penguin

  9. Penguin, I totally agree. The fighting is BECAUSE we are there. All we do is walk away, let them have their country to do with as they please. Stop the killing and we are all ahead.

  10. many of the people there yes will hate us and never change, they are followers, we are building resorces and stimulating their economy, there are good things going on over there, the more open education the younger generation is recieving will take affect eventually and the country will maybe realize that guns and war wont solve everything. ive read and heard many stories from my friends over there and we are doing well for the people even if alot of them hate our ideals. we are doing much for women's rights also more than most people know

  11. Well: Saddam gave women full rights. Now women get acid thrown on their face in Iraq if they don't wear the veil.

    Education: Basically, the civil war has shut down all schools. Less than 10% of Iraqi children are now attending schools.

    Guns and stuff: Yeah, killing them sure convinces them of stuff. Like, say, that the U.S. is evil.

    Unfortunately, in the three years since I wrote this post, the U.S. has armed militias, put one militia into power, tried to destroy an entire ethnic minority then suddenly turned around and armed that ethnic minority against another ethnic minority, and turned what remained of the country's infrastructure into rubble. 1,000,000 Iraqis are dead, 3,000,000 Iraqis are homeless, 50% of Iraqi men are unemployed except whenever jihadis pay them to bury IED's or shoot mortar tubes.

    Mission accomplished! If you're a sadistic asshole, anyhow.


Ground rules: Comments that consist solely of insults, fact-free talking points, are off-topic, or simply spam the same argument over and over will be deleted. The penguin is the only one allowed to be an ass here. All viewpoints, however, are welcomed, even if I disagree vehemently with you.

WARNING: You are entitled to create your own arguments, but you are NOT entitled to create your own facts. If you spew scientific denialism, or insist that the sky is purple, or otherwise insist that your made-up universe of pink unicorns and cotton candy trees is "real", well -- expect the banhammer.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.