Friday, December 02, 2005

Withdrawal defined

With all this discussion of "withdrawal, "draw-down," and so forth, of our forces in Iraq, let us not be misled. As Tom Engelhardt points out in this lengthy piece, these various phrases disguise the following eventualities, if the NeoCons have their way: (1) Continued support of the Iraqi "forces" by US naval air power, missiles and planes, from ships in the Mediterranean and Persian Gulf, as well as the US Air Force stationed nearby, their targets called in by Iraqi forces on the ground; (2) the presence of US ground troops in at least one--probably more--permanent bases in Iraq and nearby, to rush in as needed to assist in the suppression of any violence in Iraq; (3) the control of oil and other business opportunities in Iraq by Western interests; (4) protection of the "independence" of the northern region of Iraq, "Kurdistan," to the dismay of the remnants of Iraq and of its neighbors of the region.

Make no mistake. Nothing in the current debate addresses these issues, and Bush is keeping quiet about them. But when we crazies chant--as we have for three years--"Out of Iraq!" we don't mean any of these things. We mean that the US should get out of Iraq entirely, get our troops out of harm's way and leave Iraq to the Iraqis. That's withdrawal.

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