Sunday, September 09, 2007

If We Leave Iraq - Regional Conflagration

Kevin Drum's latest post at Washington Monthly is worth thinking about. The last argument of those that say we need to stay in Iraq is that there will be a regional conflagration if we leave. These are the chaos hawks...."we've screwed up so bad now we need to stay and take care of our screw-ups".
Having admitted, however, that the odds of a military success in Iraq are almost impossibly long, Chaos Hawks nonetheless insist that the U.S. military needs to stay in Iraq for the foreseeable future. Why? Because if we leave the entire Middle East will become a bloodbath. Sunni and Shiite will engage in mutual genocide, oil fields will go up in flames, fundamentalist parties will take over, and al-Qaeda will have a safe haven bigger than the entire continent of Europe.

What is the evidence that regional conflagration will occur? Where does it come from?
Needless to say, this is nonsense. Israel has fought war after war in the Middle East. Result: no regional conflagration. Iran and Iraq fought one of the bloodiest wars of the second half the 20th century. Result: no regional conflagration. The Soviets fought in Afghanistan and then withdrew. No regional conflagration. The U.S. fought the Gulf War and then left. No regional conflagration. Algeria fought an internal civil war for a decade. No regional conflagration.

Yes the civil war will get worse if we leave. Anyone with a brain could have figured out that in a "free" Iraq the Shia would want to extract revenge from the Sunni. Just like they could have figured out that in a majority population of Shia a "Democratic" Iraq would look like the muslim version of the Vatican.

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