Atlantis Alumni

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Iraq: The "Strategic Interests" Argument

General Petraeus ("Betray-Us" to some) has testified before Congress. He's squarely on board with the Bush plan to prolong the Iraq war indefinitely and hand it off to the next administration. It is already apparent that he and Bush will get their way, since the Democrats in Congress have neither the will or the votes to stop them. U.S. soldiers will continue to be caught in the middle of sectarian violence in Iraq, a civil war-like situation, only worse, with terrorists thrown in for good measure. The Baker-Hamilton commission's recommendations will continue to be ignored. Bush wins, America loses.

Part of the defense of this "stay the course" policy coming from so-called "thinking" individuals is that America has "strategic interests" in the region. But, what are our strategic interests in Iraq and the Middle East, other that oil, that is? We're told that "stability in the region," counterbalancing Iran, etc. are the reasons why we have to maintain a presence. We've heard this argument before albeit couched in slightly different terms. During the Vietnam War we were told that America had strategic interests in that region, the Far East. If we left, or were defeated, we were told, the "dominoes" would start to fall and Communism would spread throughout the entire region. Look at history and see how that lie turned out.

The point is, Bush-Cheney types, and those "thinkers" who make this "strategic interests" argument have not learned one simple fact about other peoples and other nations: they want to control their own destinies. And, they will resist us with every drop of blood in their veins if we continue to try to interfere in their affairs and try to control the outcome of their internal struggles. This is the lesson of Vietnam that Bush is ignoring to the continuing peril of our troops and the reputation of our country. We are occupiers in Iraq and as long as our occupation continues the inevitable self-determination that will take place in Iraq and in the region is simply delayed, with the cost being American "blood and treasure." This is why we must withdraw from Iraq and let Iraqis settle their own destiny, as we were forced to withdraw from Vietnam. Why must we have to re-learn this lesson yet again?

PHOTO: An obelisk in downtown Buenos Aires


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