Day By Day© by Chris Muir.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

What next in Iraq?

I hesitate to talk about Iraq in this forum. It is a subject that both Bookworm and her readers know considerably much more about than I do. But I'm going to dip my toe in these shark-infested waters to make a point & ask you for your ideas. Before we invaded Iraq, Bookworm and I disagreed about the issue. She favored the invasion and I opposed it for two reasons: First, I didn't see any great urgency about the situation. Whether or not Saddam had WMD, he wasn't on the verge of using them against the United States or even Israel. There was time to firm up the best coalition we could and at least show the world we had fully explored every possibility short of war. We did not do that. The Coalition of the Willing looked to me more like the Coalition of the Impatient. Second, it was clear before we ever got in, that we had no idea how we were going to get out. Iraq looked to me more like three countries joined by terror than one country joinable by democracy. It just seemed unlikely that factions who loathed each other would somehow learn to live together in any kind of a democratic state, much less one friendly to the U.S. Both Bookworm and I still think we were right all along. She can point to the downfall of Saddam, the fact that there have been no more 9/11 type attacks on U.S. soil (sorry Spain & Great Britain), the events in Libya, and the better lives that some, if not most, Iraqis are leading now. I can point to the continued bombings, the failure of the Iraqis to agree on how to govern themselves, the extraordinary expense (I deeply resent that my children will pay for Iraq's rebuilding and Iraq's children will not), and the fact that we still have no idea how to get out. My point is that it is possible to discuss these issues, even disagree on them strongly, without name-calling and without the conviction that the person on the other side is immoral, evil or just plain stupid. Bookworm and I do it all the time. The blogger's world is a great forum to do this, and we should use it constructively, to learn from each other, not just to throw rocks at each other. My request is for ideas on where the United States goes from here. Personally, I have no idea how we get out without Iraq either falling into civil war or reverting to dictatorship. And I don't support staying there forever. For someone who is normally full of ideas, some quite unconventional, this one has me stumped. I'd welcome your solutions.