Friday, January 18

"When and how should the US get out of Iraq?"

The swimming pool at Balad air base, as seen through the window of a Black Hawk helicopter, 44 miles north of Baghdad, Iraq, on Aug. 25, 2005. (photo AP)
On NPR tonight (National Public Radio) I followed several interviews about this topic. The people who spoke were writers, analysts, women-rights group representatives, common citizens, politicians and others.
A variety of views were illustrated, starting with the one that the US should pull out immediately, to the view that America has still the "obligation" to repair damages done and therefore should stay.
The "when and how should the US get out of Iraq" was a misleading question placed by NPR - or other folks who put such questions to mind. Phrased like this, it can't be the topic of a serious debate. It is actually misleading, because it embeds the notion that the US is still in control of the situation and can do whatever she wishes to do. But then ... it is not so.
An other point, the US has no intentions whatsoever to "withdraw" from the Middle East in the near or later future. There are too many reasons why to mention here, it would fill a whole page. No, it is not only about oil - even though Iraq has the largest reserve of crude besides the Saudis, making it #2 on Arab territory, soon #1, because they are dragging their feet to pump anything out. There are also strategic reasons to preserve a presence there, not to mention all the bonds that filter in and out of that complicated incestuous relationship the US maintains with Israel. But those things are only facets, or pebbles and stones that create an image of a mosaic. Some stones are still missing, the outcome of the picture somewhat uncertain.
Therefore it is idle to ask that question: "When and how should the US get out of Iraq". Because the US never will - voluntarily. Just like the Soviet Union, who was once embedded in Afghanistan for ten years, the US will remain both there and in Iraq to the bitter end. Even if it would come to it, that some politicians decide to draw back troops, let's say 120,000 (the plural majority) - there will still be tens of thousands left to maintain the military bases outside of Baghdad. And as you are very well aware, there are five or more large ones of them, with airstrips, inner sanctuaries including McDonald's, chapels, swimming pools and all. A miniature Americana on foreign soil. The US would never give them up, voluntarily. Never!
See, the US Embassy in Baghdad alone employs 5000 people, nestled in the "Green Zone", not counting local people who keep up this infrastructure, making it the largest hub of any foreign country ... anywhere. Do you really think that they are leaving or having the intent to depart - tomorrow?
I would say - NO!
Therefore the question should not be: "When and how should the US get out of Iraq" - but rather:
When and by whom will the US get kicked out of Iraq!?
You'll get some interesting analysis on that one I bet.
As we all watch this spectacle - we also must scratch our heads. When all is said and done, I probably have no single hair left on my skull.


Cym the Mystic Poet said...
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Zee said...

I wouldn't go as far as "richest and most evil nation ..." as a matter of fact, we are more in debt than any other country. That is worrisome. As for "evil" - that is a theme to be discussed delicately.
Rudolf Steiner, a philosopher and initiate during the turn of the last century put it this way: every "epoch" has an important part to solve questions of historical importance. Questions that bring light to core issues.
From the mid 15 hundreds to about now, it was the mystery of death.
From now on it will be countering the mystery of evil - according to Steiner.
Taking his view, you can not condemn the US as the sole inspiration of evil. As degenerate as we are, I believe we also just function as a catalyst in the whole scheme of events. Look at the Muslim world - Allah would turn away and spit on his 17 saved and beautiful virgins in heaven if he could witness the stupidity going on with people "of faith" on this world.
The "question" can be answered Cym, it rests calmly in the palm of your own hand.

Zee said...

... by the way Cym - why did you use that sweet kid picture of yours of 35 years ago for your profile? It is nice, but somewhat misleading.

Cym the Mystic Poet said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
susan said...

Hi Lukas,
I linked to this Oct 07 article by Jim Holt in the London Review of Books in my last post. It addresses your question very well so I'll include it for you to check out and Cym as well if she's interested.
It's indeed a complex situation and a continuation of the Great Game originally begun by Europe and esp. England well before the first WW. Looked at from the economic - power perspective the administration, with the collusion of both parties, have done exactly what was intended.
They aren't going anywhere unless, as you say, they're eventually thrown out and that's going to be quite a process.

Zee said...

There is an old saying from Germany, it's called "milk-lady calculation."
In the earlier part of last century, milk was delivered to your doorsteps, sometimes by a pretty maiden. If you didn't watch out, the change of money you recieved was in your disfavor.
Hence many people thereafter used this term broadly to describe a calculation who should end up with profit but has no virtue besides a pretty face.
I believe the war in Iraq is such an example on a somewhat bigger scale, a "milk-maidens calculation". You see Susan, eventually all empires must fall, it's the nature of the beast. The US will be no exception.
Holt's article is fine, but I would be curious to know what he would write now - three months later as the US is sliding quite uncontrollably into a recession. On the other hand, that might be part of the "master-plan" as well...

Zee said...

OK, I understand now Cym (about the picture ... and the headache).
The headache will soon be gone, while the smile of a child doest remain!