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Honest Argument: U.S. cannot withdraw from Iraq until it is stabilized
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U.S. cannot withdraw from Iraq until it is stabilized

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U.S. cannot withdraw from Iraq until it is stabilized  U.S. cannot withdraw from Iraq until it is stabilized
       Iraqi Army will collapse into Shiite and Sunni militias  Iraqi Army will collapse into Shiite and Sunni militias
              Militias already exist and membership overlaps with military  Militias already exist and membership overlaps with military
       Seen as victory by and for some terrorists and insurgents  Seen as victory by and for some terrorists and insurgents
              Other terrorists and insurgents see staying as victory  Other terrorists and insurgents see staying as victory
                     It weakens the U.S. militarily and politically  It weakens the U.S. militarily and politically
                     It furthers their political goals  It furthers their political goals
       Failed state will sereve as base for terrorists to conduct operations  Failed state will sereve as base for terrorists to conduct operations
              Tribal leaders will kill all the foreigners  Tribal leaders will kill all the foreigners
                     Zarqawi's longevity would seem to argue against this  Zarqawi's longevity would seem to argue against this
                     Salvation Council for Anbar claims over 100 captures  Salvation Council for Anbar claims over 100 captures
       Significant potential to destabilize neighboring states  Significant potential to destabilize neighboring states
              The middle east has avoided stability for 100 years  The middle east has avoided stability for 100 years
       Moral obligation to Iraqi citizens  Moral obligation to Iraqi citizens
       Civil war is already underway and must be worked out by the Iraqis  Civil war is already underway and must be worked out by the Iraqis
              This frees us to redouble our efforts against Al Qaeda and other terrorists  This frees us to redouble our efforts against Al Qaeda and other terrorists
              Financial resources could be redirected to seeking energy alternatives  Financial resources could be redirected to seeking energy alternatives
              The American occupation is making the civil war worse  The American occupation is making the civil war worse
              Will lead to regional war, involving at least Saudi Arabia and Iran  Will lead to regional war, involving at least Saudi Arabia and Iran
                     Will have disastrous impact on oil prices and world economy  Will have disastrous impact on oil prices and world economy
                            Impact on U.S. could be even worse  Impact on U.S. could be even worse
                                   This will force the U.S. to go all in  This will force the U.S. to go all in
              U.S. can still salvage the Iraqi state  U.S. can still salvage the Iraqi state
       It's better to get out before an event forces us out  It's better to get out before an event forces us out
       Moral obligation to soldiers already sacrificed  Moral obligation to soldiers already sacrificed
              This argues the sunk-cost fallacy  This argues the sunk-cost fallacy
       Al Qaeda would have access to Iraq's oil  Al Qaeda would have access to Iraq's oil
              Outsiders are not welcome in Iraq - they won't be able to control oil  Outsiders are not welcome in Iraq - they won't be able to control oil
       Our presence is the reason for the instability  Our presence is the reason for the instability
Tags: Iraq

Comments:




Iraq is Vietnam with sand

If we stay 1 year and pull out, there will be a civil war.
If we stay 10 years and pull out, guess what, there will be a civil war.

So, let's save 9 years of American soldiers dying, and get out. It will keep Iran and Syria too busy to worry about us too.

We'll have 9 years worth of tax money that we could use for alternative fuel development and fuel efficiency, giving us the freedom to ditch these difficult parts of the world.

Hey, maybe we can even reassign some of those troops to find Bin Ladin.



Comment by: mosca At: 2006-11-16 11:49:33



Re: comment: Iraq is Vietnam with sand

I added the nodes on

- civil war inevitability,
- refocusing on Al Qaeda, and
- alternative energy

based on your comment

Comment by: Ulysses Berman At: 2006-11-16 19:24:20



They have already collapsed into Shiite and Sunni militias

and will continue to do so whether we are there or not.

Comment by: StarFinder At: 2006-11-17 19:46:35



Re: node: Seen as victory by and for terrorists and insurgents

keeping us there is already seen as a victory.

they want us to stay. If we leave it will be a victory for common sense.

Comment by: StarFinder At: 2006-11-17 19:47:28



Failed Iraqi state will NOT provide haven for terrorists

The terrorists we are concerned about are Sunni. The Shittes will kill them all and the tribal leaders will kill all the foreigners.


Comment by: StarFinder At: 2006-11-17 19:48:26



Re: node: Significant potential to destabilize Turkey, Saudi Ara

bad argument. who knows what they will do. also, continued american presence is also causing the same problem

Comment by: StarFinder At: 2006-11-17 19:49:17



Re: node: Moral obligation to Iraqi citizens

you know what.....F the Iraqis....

send jenna over there. this was a mistake from the get-go and cannot be fixed now.

Here is your freedom from Saddam...we are so out of here.



Comment by: StarFinder At: 2006-11-17 19:50:15



Re: node: U.S. cannot currently withdraw from Iraq except under

I must counter this confusing thesis.

If the US remains as a presence of force in Iraq, it will continue to come under attack from all factions and will be forced to defend itself in such a way that will insure catastrophic conditions will be the rule for the many rather than a possibility.

Comment by: Lantern Bearer At: 2006-11-18 11:10:03



Re: node: Civil war is inevitable, if not already underway, and

I must dispute the implication of the thesis that "catastrophic circumstances" do not now pertain and that they will arise if the US leaves.

I do affirm that the US presence in Iraq is an ongoing catastrophic circumstance for the US, the various innocent parties involved, and for the settlement of internal hostilities between factions in the near term.

Comment by: Lantern Bearer At: 2006-11-18 11:29:10



Re: comment: Failed Iraqi state will NOT provide haven for terro

"tribal leaders will kill all the foreigners"

StarFinder, I am referring to foriegn terrorists (as opposed to the Sunnis using terrorism as a tool (a problem with the relatively undefined nature of terrorism and terrorists)). I modified the assertion to reflect foreign.

I addded your assertion, but felt the need to counter it. I'd like to believe that the tribal leaders would take care of the foreign terrorists, but haven't seen any news accounts of that happening. The relatively longevity of Zarqawi's operation would seem to argue against that also.


Comment by: Ulysses Berman At: 2006-11-18 15:06:11



Re: comment: Re: node: Seen as victory by and for terrorists and

Node amended to state "some terrorists and insurgents", and node added that some want us to stay (thereby weakening us and assisting their political goals)

Comment by: Ulysses Berman At: 2006-11-18 15:14:12



Re: comment: Re: node: Significant potential to destabilize Turk

I know that we were "forced" to leave our base in Saudi Arabia because of its potential to destabilize the Saudi royal family, but do you have an example of our presence in Iraq actually destabilizing any of the other countries?

Comment by: Ulysses Berman At: 2006-11-18 15:22:15



Re: comment: Re: node: Civil war is inevitable, if not already u

I happen to agree with both of your points.

The point here (and of the entire site) is to map out a complete argument. That's why I added the "Civil war is inevitable" node to counter the thesis (of which you commented in the previous comment).

Comment by: Ulysses Berman At: 2006-11-18 15:28:26



Re: node: Zarqawi's longevity would seem to argue against this

He was usefull for a while, to distract the americans. when they got tired of him, they gave him up.

Comment by: StarFinder At: 2006-11-18 18:26:58



Re: node: Moral obligation to Iraqi citizens

Re: Pottery Barn Rule - It could not have been a truer or prophetic statement by the only two principals that were in position to comment from the beginning, i.e. Powell and Armitage. They were the only two with "hot war" experience. They knew the particulars of an insurgent war. They knew the mistakes that had gone before. They could see the replay of all the basic mistakes as the operation began.

The end game here then for the moral obligation will be for the US to withdraw back into Saudi and Kuwait in the south and into the relatively friendly autonomous Kurdish north. They will remove to these havens with every single person now connected with the struggling government. As the Syrian backed Sunni collect themselves in Anbar, the Iranian backed Shi'a will occupy the south from Basra to the greater part of Bagdad. Whatever American and British
that will be withdrawing by road and convoy, will be under withering and bloody attack until they cross the border. The area twenty miles to each side of the ground withdrawal will become a free fire zone that will be shredded by unrelenting F-16, FA-18, and A-10 ground attack. There will be little living or standing in that zone. Never the less the withdrawal will be a retreat under fire all the way to the border. There will be no negotiation or, cease fire.

This is a best case scenario. The US will not emerge unblooded .

Comment by: Lantern Bearer At: 2006-11-18 19:54:22



lack of political will is not the same as lack of ability

The U.S. might lack the political will to withdraw from Iraq. That is not the same as the lack of ability.

The U.S. could say, "We will no longer spend money and lives on this. Goodbye," and pack its troops on ships and sail them out.

The odds are overwhelming that the U.S. will stick with this expensive investment.

Iraq is an investment. The giant "embassy" fortress is an investment. The U.S. government wants to have air power dominating the Iraq skies and a few big fortresses on the ground.

The U.S. populace may have lots of desire to leave. There appears to be a massive disconnect between the U.S. populace and the U.S. government.

Comment by: riprock At: 2006-11-23 04:37:19



Re: node: Partition the country

This could result in ethnic cleansing on a very large scale.

Partitioning runs the risk of creating massive upheavals and higher levels of threat to life and limb much like what was seen in Yugoslavia or India at the time of separation, especially as the divisions are not that neat and there is a lot of mixing between the different sects.

Comment by: spronjulator At: 2006-12-14 12:21:19



Re: comment: Partition the country

node added

Comment by: Ulysses Berman At: 2006-12-14 15:53:33



Re: comment: Re: node: Partition the country

Yugoslavia wasn't partioned, there was a brutal war fought that resulted in ethnic boundries. Yugoslavia was bound together by the sheer will of Tito.

I don't know that marginalizing the Kurds by cutting them out of oil revenue, etc, and then asking them to fend for themselves as a sovreign state is the most moral of choices...

Comment by: Horofan At: 2006-12-27 11:57:20



Re: comment: Partition the country

"bound together by the sheer will of" a brutal dictator... that sounds kind oif familiar

I don't know who's suggesting cutting the Kurds out of oil revenues. Revenues would clearly have to flow to the three regions based on population percentages.

But for the record, it's the Kurds themselves who wish to operate as an autonomous region, much as they've done since the no-fly zones were established in 1991

Comment by: Ulysses Berman At: 2006-12-27 21:25:53



Re: node: Iraqi Army will collapse into Shiite and Sunni militia

This is likely to happen regardless of how much longer our troops remain there. I think it was wishful thinking to think that the three main factions in Iraq would "all of a sudden" agree to work together after we "liberated" the country.

Comment by: Roddy8892 At: 2006-12-28 17:52:53



We can't afford to stay

Whether we want to stay or not, the US can't sustain this level of spending for much longer. The government is almost bankrupt.

Also, the army is reaching a breaking point in terms of manpower and equipment.

Comment by: miguel At: 2006-12-29 09:15:27



Re: comment: We can't afford to stay

Nodes added for spending levels and equipment shortages

Comment by: Ulysses Berman At: 2006-12-29 10:00:51



Re: node: U.S. cannot currently withdraw from Iraq except under

this argument could have read " U.S. cannot continue to occupy Iraq without catastrophic consequences". whatever "we" do at this point is irrevelant. we have created this monster from ignorance and arrogance. we should create a superfund to help to assist in the rebuilding of Iraq as the dust settles, allow the U.N. to administer that fund and get our asses out of there.

Comment by: germinator7 At: 2007-01-02 06:39:13



UN supervision and US affordability

Like the way the UN supervised the oil for food program? In Iraq, three major sects cannot agree. What makes you think the UN will see common ground? The US government is no where near bankrupt. The stock crash of the eighties, the closing of government and recessions have failed to halt the wheels of our economy. We are experiencing slow but steady growth and I would "almost" say we are a self-perpetuating economy. Industry is chomping at the bit for lucrative military contracts and military enlistment is at a voluntary all time high.

Comment by: agedone At: 2007-01-04 12:31:04



re: node: Engage diplomatically with Iran and Syria

The ISG recommendation to engage Iran and Syria comes from a group that never left the green zone. It would be letting the fox into the hen house.

Comment by: agedone At: 2007-01-04 19:51:17



Re: comment: UN supervision and US affordability

"military enlistment is at a voluntary all time high"

This directly contradicts my understanding, which is why we're also arguing about a draft:

http://honestargument.com/...

Comment by: Ulysses Berman At: 2007-01-05 19:46:58



Re: comment: re: node: Engage diplomatically with Iran and Syria

Your node has been added, along with a refutation

Comment by: Ulysses Berman At: 2007-01-05 19:59:36



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