Democracy won’t solve the problem

Assuming national elections in Iraq, can the United States military leave then? Do we give control back to a military that continues to have a disproportionate desertion rate? Do we assume that insurgents within Iraq and in neighboring countries will leave this new democracy alone?

If the U.S. pulled out, civil war would soon follow. An anti-American theocracy would eventually end up in control. And we would be right back where we started, less more than 1,000 American and coalition lives, several thousand permanently disabled, 100,000 civilian lives and a few hundred billion dollars. And anti-American feelings would be at an all-time high in the Middle East and around the world.

Face the facts. Insurgents or terrorists from Iraq, Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and every other Middle Eastern and Islamic country will continue causing trouble whether the U.S. military is in Iraq or not. It wouldn’t matter if George Bush, John Kerry or even Ralph Nader was elected. A significant United States military presence will be required in Iraq for at least a generation to keep it stable. We are stuck there whether we want to get out or not.

The real question is what will the United States do to ease the anti-American sentiment throughout the Middle East. I don’t have an answer. I just hope this administration can be truthful to the American people about the realities in the Middle East, because a democratic Iraq is not enough of a solution.

Gene Ma


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