Saturday, October 21, 2006

What's Next?

In response to the Lancet study. Originally posted in response to a thread on Iraq the Model

What I find amazing about the firestorm this study has caused is the complete inability of people who are now calling for the Coalition to ‘pull out’ to think through the consequences of such an act.

The argument is not, nor can it be about wither we should have deposed Hussein or not. That entire line of entire argument is absurd. One does not support Ted Bundy simply because he is the Head of State. The world is down one more Thugocratic Tyrant. Go team Humanity! More importantly, this change has broken the stasis that was Iraq. Instead of the Terror of Murder to impose control, we have the Terror of differing opinions over how Iraq is to be. This, in of itself is a vast improvement in spite of the horrific cost – whatever the actual number may be.

So what we have now in Iraq is an extreme form of debate over how the future of Iraq will be shaped and by whom. We must therefore ask ourselves a simple question: Does the presence of the Coalition alter the form of this debate in a positive or negative manner?

All things being equal, and if there were no other external influences to this debate, then quite clearly our best course of action would be to withdraw and let the Iraqis sort this out.

Unfortunately the astute among us can see the problem with the above: all things are NOT equal. There ARE external parties influencing this debate to the cost of the individual Iraqi (and yes, that obviously includes the US – for we don’t want to see another Hussein).

Therefore the only reasonable answer is that we must stay until Iraq can defend herself from the external influences that are trying to impose their will on Iraqi society. And the idea that such a state was achievable in a mere 3 years – no matter what level of competence (or lack thereof) the current US administration exhibits is laughable. After all, one can argue that it took the United States nearly 100 years to sort out her internal ideas of what exactly the US was about anyway.

And Iraq hasn’t seen the equivalent of a million or so Tories taking ship and heading for points elsewhere because they lost.

Let’s give the Iraqis a chance, as we have seen what ‘pulling out’ does. No more boat people. No more Pol Pot simply because the alternative was ‘hard’. Nothing worth doing is ever easy. The people of Iraq are most definitely worth our best effort.