Sunday, July 08, 2007

The New York Times pulls the chain on Iraq

David Seaton's News Links
This is how the New York Times, who had a great deal to do with promoting the war in Iraq, advocates "cutting and running".

Now, I am in favor of the US withdrawing immediately from Iraq, but I think two thing have to be done first. The first is relatively easy and the second nearly impossible.
  • First: A regional peace conference under the auspices of the UN Security Council with an agreement leading to Iraq becoming a ward of the UN. Neighboring countries would supply troops and administrators during a transition period to restored autonomy. The object then would be a general Middle East peace conference on all questions including the Israel/Palestine question.
  • Second: Impeachment, arrest and extradition of all those responsible for the war to an international tribunal specially formed in the Hague; again under UN auspices.
If the United States led this process, especially the second point, it might recover some of its capacity to give moral leadership, something which Americans find fundamental for their self-esteem. It is no exaggeration to say that the future of globalization hangs on both these points. DS

The Road Home - Editorial - New York Times
Abstract: It is time for the United States to leave Iraq, without any more delay than the Pentagon needs to organize an orderly exit.(...) Continuing to sacrifice the lives and limbs of American soldiers is wrong. The war is sapping the strength of the nation’s alliances and its military forces. It is a dangerous diversion from the life-and-death struggle against terrorists. It is an increasing burden on American taxpayers, and it is a betrayal of a world that needs the wise application of American power and principles. A majority of Americans reached these conclusions months ago. Even in politically polarized Washington, positions on the war no longer divide entirely on party lines. When Congress returns this week, extricating American troops from the war should be at the top of its agenda. That conversation must be candid and focused. Americans must be clear that Iraq, and the region around it, could be even bloodier and more chaotic after Americans leave. There could be reprisals against those who worked with American forces, further ethnic cleansing, even genocide. Potentially destabilizing refugee flows could hit Jordan and Syria. Iran and Turkey could be tempted to make power grabs. Perhaps most important, the invasion has created a new stronghold from which terrorist activity could proliferate. The administration, the Democratic-controlled Congress, the United Nations and America’s allies must try to mitigate those outcomes — and they may fail. But Americans must be equally honest about the fact that keeping troops in Iraq will only make things worse.(...) This country faces a choice. We can go on allowing Mr. Bush to drag out this war without end or purpose. Or we can insist that American troops are withdrawn as quickly and safely as we can manage — with as much effort as possible to stop the chaos from spreading. READ IT ALL

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