Sunday, April 22, 2007

Quick. List 10 reasons for leaving Iraq

Before I give you 10 reasons for leaving Iraq that the American Friends Service Committee has compiled on its web site, try to come up with your own.

If you are like me, you will find reasons that aren't on the AFSC list.

As good as the Quaker-affiliated organization's list is, it is 16 months old — and the situation in Iraq is far worse now than the calamity it was back then.

Moreover, the American mid-term elections, which came 11 months after this list, also produced a popular mandate for change. The administration is opposed by a growing majority of Americans. Chalk up another reason to leave.

You can go to the AFSC web site for a fuller discussion of the 10 reasons given in Dec. 2005. Here are the headings for each, along with my own read of how the situation has worsened in every case.

  1. The human cost of war is unacceptable. The cost in life on all sides has risen far higher since Dec. 2005. And the pace of the loss of life has quickened. There are no degrees of "unacceptability" but more and more Americans have adopted the "unacceptable cost" position.
  2. The U.S. occupation is a catalyst for violence. The level of violence has continued to mount since December 2005. Last year was seen as a year of the escalation of violence and this year's "surge" is not working.
  3. U.S. actions inflame divisions and the chance of civil war.
    Fewer and fewer analysts are talking about "the chance of civil war." By nearly all accounts, Iraq has devolved into civil war.
  4. Iraqis want the United States to leave now.
    Polls continue to show large majorities want American troops out.
  5. Democracy cannot flourish under an occupation.
    It is farther from "flourishing" today than it was even when this was written.
  6. The United States has failed to rebuild Iraq or provide for Iraqis’ basic needs.
    This situation also worsens with more and more evidence of graft associated with American assistance.
  7. The Iraq war and occupation waste resources needed for U.S. domestic programs.
    As true as ever, with a widening disparity between rich and poor.
  8. The U.S. occupation of Iraq destabilizes the Middle East.
    The recent spread of terrorism to North Africa is further evidence of the Iraq fall-out. Tensions between Israel and her neighbors continue. The fighting in southern Lebanon and the missile attacks on Israel happened after this list was drafted.
  9. Humanitarian aid is crippled by the occupation.
    I have read nothing about this subject, but the worsening of the general situation is certain to have hampered humanitarian aid further.
  10. The global community wants the war and occupation to end now. It still does.
    The reputation of the US continues to fall
    in the world community.

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