Sunday, April 29, 2007

Get Out

US administration officials like to say that if they leave Iraq now, there will be civil war and regional instability. This is untrue. If they stay in Iraq there will be civil war and regional instability. If the US pulls out, Iraq has a chance to pick up the pieces.

Violence in Iraq is aimed against the American occupation. Thousands of people are dying because of this resistance to the US occupation, and the resistance is only going to spread to more and more moderate Iraqis. Here are the casualty estimates as of today:

US military deaths (Iraq): 3,346
US military wounded (Iraq): 24,912
Iraqi civilian deaths (minimum): 62,570
Iraqi deaths related to the war and occupation: 655,000

In addition to the US military deaths, there are untold military contractors on the US payroll who have been killed in Iraq and whose deaths go unreported.

In addition to Iraqi deaths, there are millions of Iraqi refugees who have fled the country, many to Syria.

US attempts to reconstruct infrastructure that it bombed in 2003 have been a disaster, in part because of widespread fraud among contractors friendly to the Bush administration. The New York Times reports today: "In a troubling sign for the American-financed rebuilding program in Iraq, inspectors for a federal oversight agency have found that in a sampling of eight projects that the United States had declared successes, seven were no longer operating as designed because of plumbing and electrical failures, lack of proper maintenance, apparent looting and expensive equipment that lay idle."

The US owes Iraq a lot. The illegal invasion and destruction requires reparation. Occupation is not reparation: just the opposite. By staying in Iraq, the US just continues to kill people and destroy infrastructure.

The Bush administration doesn't want to leave Iraq because they don't want to admit defeat. But defeat has happened and it's not getting better. Thank heavens there's a Democrat-led congress now to make the military leave.


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