Here's a letter to the editor of the News-Press that I wrote today. If someone should see its publication, please let me know. (I seldom read that paper.)
To the editor:
Iraq’s leaders want US forces to remain in country, no doubt largely to protect them from the insurgency. However, segments of the parliamentary coalition, including the Shiite Sadr group, want us out of Iraq, and is backed by a fierce militia that Iraq's leaders are unwilling to quell for fear of losing Shiite political support.
Meanwhile, US forces are deployed throughout Sunni-dominated areas of Iraq--Ramadi, Fallujah, etc.—trying to quell that sect’s insurgency. Ostensibly, Sunni insurgents want the US to leave Iraq so they can engage in unrestrained attacks against what they deem a "puppet government." But according to a report by Tom Hayden on The Huffington Post, a delegation of these insurgents is negotiating with US officials to gain its ends--formation of a new government, rescission of decrees against Baathists, amnesty--and wants our troops to remain in Iraq to police these results. As inducements, it's offering permanent US bases in Iraq and access by private companies to Iraqi oil.
It’s plain to see: We're being played the fool, while our forces are under assault from three sides: Sunni insurgents, al-Qaida fighters and an array of private militias. And now, with the escalation of retributive attacks between Sunnis and Shiites, our troops have come under indiscriminate fire, trying to stop sectarian battles.
How do we extricate ourselves from this mess? An AA slogan says it best: "The way to stop drinking is to stop drinking." The way out of Iraq is to get out of Iraq.