Thursday, November 24, 2005

Two Views

On November 12, I blogged on the potential role of the Arab League in calming things down in Iraq enough that the US could withdraw its military. Unbeknownst to me, the Arab League was already contemplating such a role and had already set up a meeting with the three factions in Iraq to help those factions hammer out some of the internecine problems so that a more secure Iraq could allow for the end of the US occupation. The one agreement that came from this first meeting was that the US needed to leave.

Interestingly, two US newspapers posted editorials on that meeting, and their respective analyses emphasize different sides of the coin.

Yesterday the Seattle Post-Intelligencer focussed on what the results of that meeting meant for the US.

At last, Iraq's disparate factions have found something on which they can agree: They want us out of their country. The closing memorandum of a meeting of 100 Sunni, Shiite and Kurdish leaders Monday "demands a withdrawal of foreign troops on a specified timetable, dependent on an immediate national program for rebuilding the security forces."

To those who took up arms to end the occupation," Iraqi President Jalal Talabani said at the Arab League-sponsored conference in Cairo, "we say that the solution will not come through weapons but through political dialogue and democratic means."

... we must accept that Iraqis of all stripes view us not as liberators but occupiers.
[Emphasis added]

This administration must finally do what Congress has been urging for the past four to six weeks: develop a time-frame with guidelines which will enable US forces to leave Iraq. Bush must finally face the fact that most Iraqis, whether Sunni, Shia, or Kurd, want us out of their country.

The second editorial is from today's NY Times and points to what the Iraqis will have to do to get the US out.

This page has not supported a precipitous United States troop withdrawal from Iraq based on an arbitrary American timetable. We have encouraged Iraqis to recognize the need for speedy, measurable progress in taking control of their own security, and for a spirit of constructive compromise in agreeing on constitutional amendments to guarantee democracy, human rights and national inclusiveness.

At least some Iraqi leaders now seem to be moving in that direction.
[Emphasis added]

Clearly the NY Times has added a new twist to the comment made by Colin Powell when he tried to dissuade the President from starting this misbegotten war. We broke it so we own it. The Iraqis have to solve all the problems we caused before we'll let them have their country back. This hardly seems fair, although it is clear that the Iraqis themselves are going to have to heal some of their internal divisions if the broken country is to heal. That's why the Arab League's role as honest broker is so important.

Hopefully at the next meeting, this time in Baghdad, more specific agreements and time frames can be set up. It's time, and the US is going to have to live with the fact that it has to leave because the Iraqis want us to.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, the NYTimes' editorial seems similar to what the Israelis (and now the US) tell the Palestinians. Unless you solve all the problems which we engendered or at least exacerbated, we'll have to manage you and your affairs.

Next, we'll be declaring certain enclaves in Iraq off limits to Iraqis and settle them with oil companies and their workers. With no-go roads and maybe a "security wall" or two.


7:30 AM  

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