With the announcement from Iraqi Prime Minister al Maliki that U.S. troops must be withdrawn from Iraq by the end of 2011 as originally negotiated, the TV pundits, both liberal and conservative, are shouting “foul” and are left to ponder serious questions giving rise to grave doubts.
Can we leave Iraq after this many years, that much money and those numerous lives spent and grievous injuries sustained in the hands of a prime minister, though popularly elected, who as a Shia is a potential ally of the Shia government of Iran? Was the invasion of Iraq to remove Saddam Hussein a mistake afterall? Have we exchanged a largely irreligious and ruthless secular leader for a leader who may be sympathetic to our arch enemy, Iran?
Perhaps having failed to learn our lessons regarding regime change in Vietnam, but forgotten them 20 years later, can we remember them now? Where we used democratization as a pretext for removing one government but after the election may not get the replacement we desired, perhaps we ought to not interfere. In interfering with the internal affairs of a government, we take the risk that the plan will either backfire or go awry in directions we did not expect and yet we still ought to not interfere. After all, this land is our land, that land is their land. One is made for you and me, the other is made of them.
Dale Whiting, Chandler
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