Posted by Roland (126.96.36.199) on April 24, 2004 at 23:46:35:
That leaves the other two alternatives that you mention; those of staying in for the long haul or pulling out only to leave a vacuum where anything could happen.
I believe there’s another alternative which in a sense, is a hybrid of the two. You are best placed to make a comment about how ugly, dangerous and protracted this conflict can be, although I see your government beginning to adopt a less intimidating stance than when they first began. For example, ceasing the “de Baathification” yesterday and softening their position on al-Sadre. This makes me optimistic that the US government is realizing that a gridiron approach is inappropriate in a nation that is proudly nationalistic and causally amalgamated and which is experiencing unwanted occupation and subjugation. In my opinion, much of the insurgency would have been avoided had America invited the UN into the process instead of going it alone, but if you remember, the UN was (is) the last organization Bush wanted (wants) involved. Whether America likes it or not, the UN is the World’s recognised legitimate choice when dealing with regional conflict. Involvement by America in situations far from its own shores, has resulted in foreign blood being spilt and infra structure destroyed over many years. This has damaged America’s reputation and legitimacy as a reliable and trustworthy alternative, if indeed it ever was an alternative. It will take decades for the world to forget Palestine, Guatemala, Vietnam …. After the recent train accident, North Korea a member of the notorious “Axis”, has (as expected) called for UN aid – not US aid. While the US sees itself as the controller of Iraq’s future and refuses to hand this role over to the UN UNCONDITIONALLY, there will be Iraqi and international resistance, and America will simply add Iraq to the litany of hostility already chalked against it.