Just Thinking
by James Glaser
May 8, 2007

Everyone is thinking about how we can get our troops home from Iraq. George Bush and his administration keep telling us that we have to stay there until Iraq is a stable country, and then our troops can come home. Many military leaders say that could take seven to ten years or more. Last night on MSNBC, General Anthony Zinni, a retired Marine Corps general, and former American military commander in the Middle East, said that we will have our troops in Iraq for years to come.

The Democrats in Congress want our troops to come home very soon, with troop reductions starting this fall.

Everyone is worried what will happen in the region if we leave. Some, like Republican Presidential candidate Tommy Thompson, want the Iraqi people to vote if we should pull our troops or not. Thompson brought up that tid-bit of thought during the Republican debates last week, and none of the other nine candidates even commented on that idea.

To tell you the truth, I don't give a rip what the Iraqi people think about our troops being there, and I sure don't want them to be deciding if our troops continue to die over there.

Here's the deal. We screwed up by attacking Iraq in the first place. We now know there were no nuclear weapons, nor a nuclear weapons program. We also know there were no chemical or biological weapons in Iraq. We got rid of Saddam and his government, in fact Saddam and most of his government is now dead. We gave the Iraqi people three elections, and they now have a constitution and a government. We have given the Iraqi government and people billions of dollars. We have done all of that, plus we have trained the Iraq army and police force for about three years now.

Not only have we done all of that, but we have sacrificed 3,376 of our troops and had 25,080 of them wounded, just so the Iraqi people could be free. You know what? That seems like enough!

The Iraqis now have a chance to do with their country what they want. I think we have shed enough blood for them, and we should walk away. Sure the country might turn into chaos, but that can only happen if you don't think it is already in chaos. If like me, you think Iraq is in a civil war, well then I think we should let them fight their civil war without our troops in the middle. If they are not in a civil war, then things will work out better without our telling them what to do.

We can stay in Iraq for another fifty to sixty years. That is what we have done in Japan, Germany, and Korea. Everlasting troop deployments mean everlasting contracts for the defense industry corporations that supply those long term bases. That means generations of spending and generations of wealth for a few Americans who are positioned with whichever party is in power, but then that is what all of our wars are really about.

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