Immediate and complete withdrawal from Iraq

Dr. Dahlia Wasfi has written a short article in calling for the immediate and complete withdrawal of our troops from Iraq.  The author writes thusly:

As I continue to speak around the U.S. calling for the immediate, unconditional withdrawal of American forces from Iraq and Afghanistan, the response shaped by the media is:  “we want to bring the troops home, but we’re afraid of what might happen when we leave.”  My typical reply is sarcastic:  “Like we have such a good thing going [in Iraq and Afghanistan] now, we don’t want to mess it up.” 

It simply does not make sense to predict that while Iraqis were better off before American and British soldiers illegally invaded (free healthcare, free education, better electricity and water services, and most importantly, the security of law and order), they will be worse off when the military occupation ends.  Considering four of the major consequences of foreign troop withdrawal, it is clear that the first step in the right direction—for Iraq, America, and the rest of the world—is to bring the troops home.

1.        Ending the occupation means ending aerial bombing raids.  Bombs dropped by pilots and personnel who cannot see their targets continue to be a significant cause of civilian morbidity and mortality.   The Iraqi Air Force was destroyed in 1991; it is only American and British bombers in Iraqi air space.

2.       Ending the occupation means an end to American-run prisons in Iraq.  The International Red Cross/ Red Crescent (IRCC) has estimated that 70-90% of those incarcerated in these jails have been arrested “by mistake.”  Young, military-aged men are rounded up in ongoing daily house raids because they are the same (assumed) age and gender of resistance fighters.  Every innocent boy or man who is imprisoned, tortured, raped, and/or murdered by American prison guards is the raison d’etre of the resistance.

3.       Ending the occupation means an end to U.S.-run death squads in Iraq.  In the 1980’s, the horrors of kidnappings, disappearances, torture, murder, and bodies in the streets terrorized the societies of Latin American countries with American CIA involvement (e.g. Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador).  This frightening description applies to Iraqi society today, where American administrators and military are in charge.  Without further Congressional supplemental bills for occupation, there is no further funding for death squads and mercenaries.

4.        Ending the occupation means an end to the rape, torture, and murder of Iraqis by Americans.  And I can guarantee you this:  Bringing the troops home from Iraq and Afghanistan means that Americans will stop dying in Iraq and Afghanistan, and that is the ONLY plan that will accomplish that mission.


I reported a while back on General Odom’s testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in which he also called for the immediate and complete withdrawal of US troops from Iraq:


A number of reasons are given for not withdrawing soon and completely. I have refuted them repeatedly before but they have more lives than a cat. Let try again me explain why they don’t make

First, it is insisted that we must leave behind military training element with no combat forces to secure them. This makes no sense at all. The idea that US military trainers left alone in Iraq can be safe and effective is flatly rejected by several NCOs and junior officers I have heard describe their personal experiences. Moreover, training foreign forces before they have a consolidated political authority to command their loyalty is a windmill tilt. Finally, Iraq is not short on military skills.

Second, it is insisted that chaos will follow our withdrawal. We heard that argument as the “domino theory” in Vietnam. Even so, the path to political stability will be bloody regardless of whether we withdraw or not. The idea that the United States has a moral responsibility to prevent this ignores that reality. We are certainly to blame for it, but we do not have the physical means to prevent it. American leaders who insist that it is in our power to do so are misleading both the public and themselves if they believe it. The real moral question is whether to risk the lives of more Americans. Unlike preventing chaos, we have the physical means to stop sending more troops where many will be killed or wounded. That is the moral responsibility to our country which no American leaders seems willing to assume.

Third, nay sayers insist that our withdrawal will create regional instability. This confuses cause with effect. Our forces in Iraq and our threat to change Iran’s regime are making the region unstable. Those who link instability with a US withdrawal have it exactly backwards. Our ostrich strategy of keeping our heads buried in the sands of Iraq has done nothing but advance our enemies’ interest.

I implore you to reject these fallacious excuses for prolonging the commitment of US forces to war in Iraq.


And, as you recall, it is the will of the Iraq representative government that we withdraw:


Enough said, let’s get the heck out of Iraq so that the healing can begin.

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