Your Baghdad is in ruins
It is time to leave Iraq
January 4, 2007
There was a time in history when Baghdad was the heart of the Islamic Empire and when things were fine in Baghdad the entire world was fine and vice versa. There is a well known ancient saying still frequently echoed throughout the Middle-East to imply that the situation is hopeless: “your Baghdad is in ruins.” No other phrase can better describe the current situation of the US involvement in Iraq and the Middle East.
Staying the course is no longer tenable. A surge in military strength may be hard to sell to the new US congress or counter productive at the end. Externalization of the problem by moving the theatre to Iran may be the last face saving option Proposals by many Democrats “to re-deploy US forces” may prove to be an attempt to free up the forces for possible attack on Iran. Implementation of such a plan will have far worse repercussions than the outcome of US military occupation of Iraq. The false assumptions and the underpinning misconceptions of the US policies in Iraq and the Region as a whole have been the root causes of tragic end results that may be summarized as follows:
- The Iraqi citizens did not embrace the US military campaign and did not turn out in the streets of Baghdad with followers to welcome the “liberating forces.”
- The formation of an Interim Government proved to be far more complex and less operational than initially envisioned.
- The “democratization” and the electoral processes had adverse consequences and proved to be detrimental to the US interests.
- The anti-US sentiments in Iraq and throughout the Middle East grew as the military operations increased and continued.
- The internal ethnic and sectarian conflicts produced an environment conducive to the rise of the insurgency and radicalism.
- The insurgency proved to be more capable of knowing, understanding the adversary and adapting to the changing circumstances than the occupying forces.
- The US military actions in the region have paved the road for the formation of the anti-western Middle East as a united region combined with the alliance of the most undemocratic regimes, the Fundamentalists and the Jihadist forces.
- The intensification and prolonging of the conflicts has resulted in the emergence of Iran as the undisputed countering force in the Region, hence, undermining the roles of the “friendly regimes” such as those of Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia both in the Arab countries as well as throughout the Islamic world.
When US decided to enter Iraq with its military might, it assumed that once its forces entered Baghdad, they will win the hearts and minds of the people and the Iraqis will pour into the streets with rose followers in one hand and waving US flags in the other to embrace the “liberating” forces in joy. Perhaps, the post World War II nostalgia and the Hollywood style picture perfect images of the Champs Elyseesand the march on the Place de la Concorde to the Arc de Triomphe after the fall of the Nazis may have induced such a misconception. The US military campaign in Iraq, as well as in Afghanistan, however, are viewed by the people of the region and the entire developing world as purely self-fulfilling prophesies and naked military occupations of sovereign states in defiance of all international accords. In fact, the US forces in the region are not only considered to be the “benevolent liberators” but rather the hostile, criminal, inhumane and savage enemies. Most local nationals describe them as the “bionic heartless robots” (read the killing machines) that do not hesitate to torture, rape or commit acts of genocide in the pursuit of their selfish goals.
There is no apparent end to the current insurgency and no sign of slowing down of the internal conflicts. The civil war will inevitably lead to the hegemony of the forces opposing the foreign military presence in Iraq. It would be best for the US military forces to be out of the theatre well before the new hegemony occupies the political arena. The sooner the United States faces this reality the better chance it has to avoid a catastrophic end. It is now time for the immediate withdrawal of the United States from Iraq and the entire region.
The war in Iraq is not going well for the United States and the prospects of improvements are bleak. The public opinion in the Muslim world has made a sharp turn against the United States and its allies in recent years. Justifications of the “forced democratization” and “the war on terror” for military unilateralism carry no weight of legitimacy in the region. The western military presence is viewed as primarily serving the interests of the west in the oil and gas resources of the Middle East. There is nothing that the United States can do at this stage to alter this prevailing perception other than a quick and total withdrawal. Not a partial or tactical withdrawal from Iraq by redeployment of forces to neighboring lands such as Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and alike, but a total evacuation of all forces from the entire region.
Exiting the Iraq predicament is not possible by externalization of the problem to Iran. The end results of a military intervention in Iran will be far worse that the outcome in Iraq. Only a total destruction of Iran may bring down the Iranian Regime to its knees. Iraq and Afghanistan are all in ruins now. Adding another country, especially of such a large magnitude to the list of “destructed states” in the region will not be exactly reflective of a “successful resume” for the US or the West. It will be the vivid manifestation of the return of colonialism in its most vicious naked face. Even the biggest military victory will be gravest political defeat.
There is no wining. Western allies must realize, once and for all, that the colonial era has long been passed. This is the millennium of global unity, regional cooperation, environmental awareness, peace and liberty. No force can propagate these notions through militarism or the use of force. If the west has any regards for the human rights, liberty, democracy and sustainable development in the region, it will leave the peoples of the region alone to find their own paths. If any help is needed in the process, believe us, you will be the first to be called upon. Meanwhile, you are kindly and respectfully requested to stay away. Your Baghdad is in ruins; it is time to leave Iraq. Comment