Still, there is indeed a way out of Iraq. An international conference on the war in Iraq, convened in Amman, Jordan, under the auspices of the United Nations, with the support of Russia and China, could bring together the United States, the current interim government of Iraq, and representatives of nearly a dozen Iraqi resistance groups to hammer out an agreement on a cease-fire and a timetable for a U.S. withdrawal from Iraq within a year.
Such a scenario might sound optimistic, but based on many discussions with current and former U.S. diplomats, military officers, and intelligence officials, plus leading Iraqis and officials of foreign governments, it’s not impossible. (emphasis mine)
He’s right: it’s not impossible, just highly unlikely. BushCo is just too far out on their ideological limb of “democratizing” the Middle East to want to saw it off by having a truly democratic face-to-face with all parties concerned and arbitrate an Iraq thrashing out its own way to a legitimate government so as to provide us with a graceful exit. Not that there is going to be a graceful exit in any way, shape or form, and the sooner everyone comes to realize that, the better.
Juan Cole (Informed Comment, Monday, August 22, 2005) has a 10 point proposal for a coordinated US withdrawal. Again, its just too sensible for the Bushites to implement, but it would make an excellent set of talking points for the pro-continuing occupation Democrat contingent to hang their hats on. They really need to drop their hawkish stance vis a vis “seeing it through.” Americans are about fed up with that BS.
Addendum: While I have been calling for an immediate withdrawal from Iraq for some time, I certainly don’t oppose some kind of peacekeeping force left in situ. That would be in keeping with our history of previous invasions (Japan and Germany), which were, on the whole, beneficial to all concerned. But before we withdraw all our troops, we first need to ensure that there is a viable government in place to hold back the chaos that will inevitably follow any American exit plan. The present administration is being true to form in botching things up by encouraging the Shia to include fundamental Islamic law as part and parcel of the Iraqi constitution, the very thing that BushCo promised we were fighting against.
If in fact we are promoting “democracy” in Iraq, what is the purpose of including religious law in a constitution, since that is the very definition of a theocracy? Once again, BushCo stabs everybody in the back. General Douglas MacArthur, in writing the new constitution for post-WWII Japan, specifically included language that demoted the Emperor from a god to a mere human. I mean, really, folks, when you conquer a country, don’t you get to write the rules? What’s the point otherwise?
Personally, I think they should break the region into 3 autonomous states, split the oil and gas profits and everybody go home. There historically has never been a nation called Iraq. That's just an administrative area that the French and English invented after the breakup of the Ottoman Empire.
By the way, predictions of oil price hikes and the unavailability of crude from an Iraq post-US withdrawal are red herrings in the arguments against immediate withdrawal.
For the record: our import of
Iraqi Middle Eastern oil was never more than 10% of all petroleum imports when the crude was flowing, which it isn’t certainly isn’t doing right now (the Iraqis don’t even pump enough presently for internal consumption, much less export and may in fact be importing oil at the moment), and the price of gas is through the roof as of this writing ($2.75+ national average). The oil companies are war profiteering like crazy and getting staggeringly rich and no one is doing a damn thing about it, so why should they back off on the price? Whatever happens in Iraq, oil prices will not come down again, and it will be years before Iraqi production comes back to pre-Operation Enduring Freedom levels even in a best of all possible worlds scenario. So don’t go looking for Sunni crude at your friendly ExxonMobile station for the next five years or so at any price.