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Commentary :: DNC
"How can we leave Iraq?"
07 Jan 2004
Anti-war newsletter for soldiers explains why the U.S. should leave NOW.
Have you noticed how the politicians who ask that question aren’t in Iraq? They’re making speeches and holding press conferences in Washington about "How can we leave Iraq?"

An old story from Vietnam Days comes to mind.

Somebody asked a soldier who was against the war, "How can we leave Vietnam?"

The answer: "Ship or plane, either is good."

The liars in Washington in those days were selling a different line of bullshit. If "we" leave Vietnam, the Communists will take over Vietnam, then Thailand, then Malaysia, then Burma, then India, then the Philippines and before you know it they’re landing in California. "It’s better we fight communism in the streets of Saigon than in the streets of New York," they said.

Vietnam "fell" and none of that happened. Today Vietnam is full of sweatshops where people get paid shit making sneakers for U.S. corporations and all kinds of other stuff, but noticeably few Communists have invaded California, and no Vietnamese appear to be interested in getting even for their millions of dead by traveling over here and fighting in the streets.

So what would happen if the U.S. military left Iraq and all the troops came home now?

Maybe some Iraqi multimillionaires will buy up the government and pocket the oil money. That would be the American way.

Maybe some religious political parties will get control of the government. In Turkey, a religious political party is in control of the government. It’s (gasp) Muslim too. And Bush just handed that government $8 billion. Washington politicians use "Islamic fundamentalism" as a boogeyman to scare people into supporting the occupation. They don’t give a damn about the rights of Iraqi women, or religious minorities, or democracy - so long as their fat checks come in, and they stay rich and powerful.

Maybe the millions of workers who live in the cities will organize their own party and fight for their own interests and agenda. They might even start a revolution from below that seizes the oil fields and uses their wealth to make it possible for all Iraqis to have a decent life, instead of ending up in some corporate bank account.

Maybe there will be bloodshed, a civil war, and a period of unrest until the Iraqis figure out who is going to be in charge. America had one of those from 1860-65 and no one - not the British, not the French, not the Russians, not the U.N. - had a right to interfere.

But one thing there won’t be is a foreign, invading, occupying military power suffocating all of Iraqi society and generating a national resistance movement that makes the whole country a war zone.

We shouldn’t forget that the Iraqis managed to organize their own society for about 3000 years before America was "discovered" in what were some of the earliest human civilizations. Before the U.S. invasion, Iraq was one of the few Muslim countries where city life was more like Europe than it is in Kuwait, or Saudi Arabia, or other medieval regimes supporting Bush’s Imperial War. It’s the most vicious, ignorant racism to assume they can’t run their own country without Bremer and Bush.

And while no one knows exactly what will happen in Iraq when the U.S. leaves, a few things are for sure.

Not a single American soldier will get killed by Iraqis who want to run their own country if American soldiers aren’t there.

No Iraqis fighting for independence will get killed by American soldiers if American soldiers aren’t there.

Want to make Iraq a better, safer place to live? Want to reduce the number of American soldiers missing hands, feet, arms, or life in a pointless and impossible occupation?

Bring all the troops home now.
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