A touch of Grace

“I know there’s a lot of speculation that these reports in Washington mean there’s going to be some kind of graceful exit out of Iraq,” he said. “This business about a graceful exit just simply has no realism to it at all.”
-George Bush commenting on the Iraq Study Group Report

News Story

President Bush is becoming increasing isolated in his view that the US and its allies will stay the course in Iraq.  Democrats and many Republicans are now calling for a phased withdrawal from Iraq.  Advance reports from the Iraq Study Group seem to indicate that the group will agree with that position.  I have a feeling that Bush will persist in his position until he has no choice but to accede to all the voices calling for a withdrawal from Iraq.  That change could come at any time.  President Bush has a long history of proclaiming the hard line, then changing course suddenly.  Rumsfeld’s dismissal one week after the midterm elections is a good example.  President Bush proclaimed that Rumsfeld would stay as Defense Secretary until the end of his second term.  One week later, Rumsfeld ‘resigned’.

President Bush is correct when he says that there will be no graceful exit from Iraq.  I think he’s wrong when he contends that there will be some kind of victory there.  The lessons of Vietnam and the first Iraq war seem to be lost on the Neo-Conservatives.  Fighting a war with no discrete goals will always lead to a quagmire.  President Bush has engaged us in an open ended occupation in the most volatile region of the world.  This isn’t a case like Vietnam where we can leave without national security repercussions.  Iraq is one of the world’s largest suppliers of oil.  Withdrawing troops will probably destabilize the region further, but there is no option for creating peace in the region while our troops remain in Iraq.  Ideologues in the Neo-Conservative movement have trapped us in a catch-22.  That is the inevitable outcome when National Security decisions are made based on Ideology rather than political realities.

We need to accept the political reality of the region and let our enemies trap themselves in Ideological quagmires.  That reality means pulling out of Iraq.  Despite the power vacuum that will create, it is the best way forward.

4 Responses to “A touch of Grace”

  1. glorious Says:

    People have lost interest in the war because it is like a bad movie with no end in sight. I have been a supporter of Bush because I believe we need to get Iraq on firm democratic ground before we leave. I am not sure that can ever happen. The differences in culture between the US and Iraq are too great. I would be happy to see our troops home but not at the expense of the innocent people of Iraq. I have to trust that we’ll do the right thing for everyone but what is that?

  2. Nicola Says:

    I am not sure you can use the term grace or graceful in the same sentance as Iraq.

    Iraq is an unholy mess, it always has been and I suspect it has the potential to always be.

  3. jackalope Says:

    In Sociology 101 at community college, we learned that certain cultures have very deeply ingrained beliefs that spill into every part of their lives, government included. This leads the intelligent observer to understand that Iraq falls into the category of an ancient theocratic culture that will not just change overnight and decide to create a secular democracy. You simply cannot enforce democracy at the point of a gun. The culture has to want to make the changes.
    I don’t understand how the “experts” in government didn’t see this at the very start. The effort was doomed from day one because the people as a whole are not ready for such a drastic change in their culture, whether we think it’s “good for them” or not.
    The US needs to stop parenting the rest of the world.

  4. Manuel Says:

    Whatever we are doing over there is just not working. At first I supported what we were doing, even though I was not a Bush supporter. However, the time has really come to pull out.

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