Saturday, July 12, 2008

Follow the Iraqi people's wishes

I have a very, very simple stance on the future of Iraq. If the majority of Iraqi people, through a direct vote or through their elected representatives, feel they want American troops to withdraw, we withdraw. If the majority, through one of the same two means, says that they would prefer American troops to stay, we stay.

Signs show that the former may be the case, as Prime Minister Maliki has said that he wants the Americans to enact a timetable for withdrawal. If so, we should follow their wishes. Doing so could help foster a positive relationship with the Iraqi government that would be useful if any threats in the country arise that need to be taken care of, as it would be a sign that we are serious about this democracy thing. Not following their wishes would effectively mean we're full of crap, as Sen. John McCain himself said in 2004 before the Council on Foreign Relations:

PETERSON: Let me give you a hypothetical, senator. What would or should we do if, in the post-June 30th period, a so-called sovereign Iraqi government asks us to leave, even if we are unhappy about the security situation there? I understand it's a hypothetical, but it's at least possible.

McCAIN: Well, if that scenario evolves, then I think it's obvious that we would have to leave because— if it was an elected government of Iraq— and we've been asked to leave other places in the world. If it were an extremist government, then I think we would have other challenges, but I don't see how we could stay when our whole emphasis and policy has been based on turning the Iraqi government over to the Iraqi people.

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