I saw an article today that I just have to comment on. It seems that the Iraqi government is officially demanding for a timetable for withdrawing US troops. So what do we do at this point? The current administration has been very adamant that timetables are wrong and will only encourage insurgents, that the government is still to weak to protect itself. Now it's not just the Democrats but the Iraqi government that's disagreeing. What do we do?
One option is to ignore them. We are trying to keep the country stable and a withdrawal of US troops could be catastrophic. It could spark a civil war that kills thousands. Do we want to be responsible for such slaughter? For the good of the country, don't our troops need to stay until the job is done?
The other option is to submit to their demands. Are they independent or a US vassal? Shouldn't they be allowed to determine their own fate? The government of Iraq was elected by the people of Iraq and, as representatives of the will of the people, they should have the final say in the future of their country. Will it cause civil war? Maybe. Will the result be the death of thousands? Maybe, but isn't the real question: Do the people of Iraq have the right to choose their own destiny?
Both options are compelling but which one do we choose? I submit that the best course for the US is to accept the Iraqi government's request and work with them on a timetable for withdrawal. The consequences may be drastic but to me, the moral imperitive is clear. We set out to make Iraq an independent democratic country. How can we accomplish this if we don't treat them as such? Part of being free is being responsible for one's own actions. We cannot claim the Iraqi people are free if we do not allow them to make their own choices and accept the consequences of those choices.
Yes there may be quite a bit of violence. Yes, a lot of people could die. However, they will be in a situation that they chose. If you remember early US history, there was quite a bit of violence in the days of the Articles of Confederation. It is an unfortunate part of the growth process. We can't babysit them forever. I believe that we need to respect the will of the people and allow them to be truly free. As a freedom loving people, how can we do anything less?