My thoughts on the subject; a variety of links (including to the transcript
of the Cole interview) in the original post at:
The "responsible" call for withdrawal
I have written on several occasions (the most recent here) about how the
"exit strategy" from Iraq is a sham, because the Americans are never going
to turn over to the "Iraqi army" the planes, helicopters, tanks, and heavy
artillery which they themselves rely on in battles against the resistance.
Just yesterday afternoon I was thinking about (and thinking about posting
about) the fact that not a single commentator, not Norman Solomon or
Alexander Cockburn or Rahul Mahajan or any number of other people with more
knowledge and insight than I, seems to have picked up on that point.
And then today on Democracy Now!, Juan Cole, following in the footsteps of
Tom Hayden in calling for a "responsible" (not "simplistic" in Cole's words)
withdrawal from Iraq, does actually pick up on this point, but in a
doppelganger sort of way. Cole's idea of "responsible" withdrawal is that
American ground troops should be withdrawn, but that air power should
remain, giving "close air support" (a phrase he uses three times during the
interview) to "the new Iraqi army and to other allied forces on the ground."
In other words, the U.S. should keep intervening and keep killing Iraqis,
but do so in a way that doesn't endanger themselves nearly as much, and
leave the face-to-face killing (which he seems to think is "unhelpful in the
sense that it actually also is spreading around the guerrilla war") to Iraqi
surrogates. To be noted is that this approach, since it would signficantly
lessen American deaths, might strike a dangerous, even fatal, blow to the
American antiwar movement, even while doing nothing to lessen the deaths of
Iraqis (and might even increase that number).
Sometimes, "Now" means "Now". Attitudes like Cole's and Hayden's, that the
United States, which invaded Iraq illegally, has to stay and compound that
illegality, remind me of nothing less than the woman who was ordered to
marry her rapist. Iraq has been raped by the United States. Whatever the
future brings for Iraq, it's time for the U.S. to clear out.
Left I on the News
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