Iraqis Want Us Out

Iraqis Want Us Out


Also, a large majority approve of the attacks on our servicemen and women to. Not good.

I say let’s grant them their wishes and subsequently force their leaders to stand up and take responsibility for the country. While it may seem strange now, I believe that this strategy represents the only way to “win” in Iraq, if that’s even a possibility now.

From E&P:

The survey by much-respected World Public Opinion (WPO), taken in September, found that 74% of Shiites and 91% of Sunnis in Iraq want us to leave within a year. The number of Shiites making this call in Baghdad, where the U.S. may send more troops to bring order, is even higher (80%). In contrast, earlier this year, 57% of this same group backed an “open-ended” U.S. stay.

By a wide margin, both groups believe U.S. forces are provoking more violence than they’re preventing — and that day-to-day security would improve if we left.

And what about the attacks on our soldiers? Well, apparently the approval for that is linked to us staying put.

In short, the quicker we leave, the quicker the mood will shift…

Support for attacks on U.S. forces now commands majority support among both Shiites and Sunnis. The report states: “Support for attacks on U.S.-led forces has grown to a majority positionâ€â€?now six in ten. Support appears to be related to widespread perception, held by all ethnic groups, that the U.S. government plans to have permanent military bases in Iraq and would not withdraw its forces from Iraq even if the Iraqi government asked it to. If the U.S. were to commit to withdraw, more than half of those who approve of attacks on US troops say that their support for attacks would diminish.”

The backing for attacks on our forces has jumped to 61% from 47% in January.

People, the message can get clearer but not by much. The Iraqi population does not want us there and they think they can do better on their own. Let’s give them their wish and have them sort through it on their own.

People will die, yes, but nobody said that democracy is neat and tidy. In fact, it’s usually quite a messy business, but it’s less messy than all the other forms of government (h/t: Winston), so we can’t be shy about letting the Iraqis find their own definition.

And something tells me that if we let them do that, it’s going to be much more likely that they become friends rather than foes. Just a hunch.

  • m.takhallus

    I don’t have a lot of confidence in polls of Iraqis. I don’t think we have much of a baseline for comparison. And I don’t believe Iraqis can be relied on to be honest given the various threats that surround them.

    However, it almost doesn’t matter if they’re saying “Get out” because of genuine conviction or only because it seems like the safe answer to give. In the end it amounts to a civil society that has no capacity to offer us the support without which our mission in Iraq is futile.

  • D.Donnell

    Justin Gardner writes:

    “[…] we can’t be shy about letting the Iraqis find their
    own definition [of democracy]. And […] if we let them
    do that, it’s going to be much more likely that they
    become friends rather than foes. Just a hunch.”

    Oy–‘friendship’ between the Shiites & Sunnis?

    In what video game version of Iraq?

    While I agree with the inevitable need to get out of Iraq, the “hunch” above seems to be about the most jaw-droppingly naive comment I’ve read about Iraq since the original rationales for going into Iraq.

    m.takhallus’s 5 sentences above say it all.

  • Ima Boozer

    D. Donnell is probably correct that a departure by US troops will probably not cause peace between the Shiites and Sunnis. There is a strong historical emnity between these sects and Saddam’s overwhelming support of his own Sunni sect probably exacerbated this rift. However, before our invasion many people in the larger cities had learned to live peaceably with believers of the other sect and there was much inter-marriage between sects. Sadly our style of governance has helped destroy whatever inter-sect relationships that may have existed pre-occupation.

  • Jimmy the Dhimmi

    The biggest misunderestimation by President Bush about Iraq was that modern Arab Islamic culture is capable of maintaining a peaceful, tolerant society. He always was hopeful towards the prospect of human freedom in the middle east; well, thats too bad because Arabia is full of Barbarians who adhere to a diabolical, pre-medeival ideology.

    To those Shiites who say attacks on U.S. soldiers are justified – the same soldiers who liberated them from their greatest oppressor – to hell with them.

    The only thing that is necessary for Iraq is that the civil authorities there use their power to fight trans-national terrorismrather than support or look away from it. At this point I don’t give a crap if the religious sects tear each other to pieces.

    If Iraq becomes a haven for anti-American terrorists after we leave, then its time to bring back the carpet-bombs. The Iraqi people should be made aware of this before we fulfill their wishes and get out.

  • Justin Gardner

    Listen, is it more or less likely that these warring factions will cooperate if we’re there or not there?

    My guess is that may get bloodier after we leave, but they’ll eventually get things worked out in a shorter period of time than if we just stay in there and provide an easy target for both sides.

    In short, we’re just prologing an inevitable fight that these two sides have been wanting to have for a long, long, long time. It’s time for us to step out of the way and allow them to try and work it out.

  • Alan Stewart Carl

    I don’t think they’ll work out their own form of democracy. I think they’ll end up with a new form of totalitarianism. If the Iraqis want us out, their government should ask us to leave. But the government won’t because, without us, they’re toast. Our absence won’t pressure them to take responsibility. Our absence would be their death.

  • Jimmy the Dhimmi

    “Get things worked out”? Thats a nice way of putting it. Sure, the situation may resolve itself in a shorter period of time, sort of how Hiroshima and Nagasaki solved WWII rather abruptly. In other words, they will mercelessly fight eachother until one side is completely wiped out.

    At this point, I don’t give a crap if thats what going to happen, since the people appear to prefer death squads rather than deal with an the presence of a relatively benign infidel army.

    The real problem is, that after all of this “working out,” I doubt that whichever side is victorious and takes over the country will become an ally in the war on terrorism. Pick your poison: Sunni Al-Queda types or Iranian backed Hezbollah types. Unfortunately, a continuing U.S. presence backing up a legitimate Iraqi parliament dedicated to real reform may be the only option at this point.

  • BenG

    You all make good points, but if you measure wrong to began with, alot of hard work will be wasted. So, we’re all trying to make sense out of a nonsensical attempt at fighting terrorism.
    I don’t understand what could be legitgimate about the new Iraqi govnmt, and how could it be “dedicated to real reform” if the only thing propping it up is the US army. The only people that matter to a govnmt is the people it represents, in a democracy it should BE the people. So it’s the gov. and the people of Iraq that must determine their outcome. Any US involvement, in my opinion, is simply a way to rationalize a face saving withdrawl, and to do something so as not to feel too guilty about all of the carnage. That’s not a win, not a loss, just gettin the hell out of a place you shouldn’t have been in the first place.

  • Joshua

    In terms of the larger picture of the Long War, when we first invaded Iraq we, as a nation, were still very much in the dark about what we’re really up against. The more we have learned about the global Islamic supremacist threat – admittedly due in part to our experience in Iraq – the more Operation Iraqi Freedom seems like a strategic blunder. We’re attempting to democratize the Muslim world, all but oblivious to the growing power of Islamic supremacists in the West, particularly in Europe, and to how globalization (or to be more precise, global connectivity made possible by 21st century technology) has enabled this growth. Instead of a pro-democracy offensive, what we really need is an anti-shari’a defensive.

    Granted, that is hindsight talking, and hindsight is always 20/20. Still, it makes little sense for America to stay a course that was charted in the dark.

  • Alan Stewart Carl

    I think perhaps we should completly redefine the objective in Iraq. The issue now is not setting up a democratic government. The objective has become ensuring Iraq 1) isn’t a threat to our security and 2) isn’t a threat to destablize the region.

    From a strategic standpoint, it really doesn’t matter why we went in or how we managed to screw it up so badly. What matters is how do we leave without leaving a mess so big that it could threaten our future security and/or the stability of the region. It’s not about “saving face.” There’s no “face” left to save. It’s about taking care of our mess now and not pretending like it’ll go away the minute we do. There are very strong strategic and moral reasons to stay that have little to do with why we went in almost four years ago. It’s really a whole new problem–one of our own creating but also one that’s our responsibility.