Iraq Exit Plan

Which of the Presidential Candidates 2004 will sign on to a near-instant Exit Plan?

  • Carl Hiassen says The question for George W Bush is how long before the American people decide that the best exit plan is to elect a president with an exit plan.

Are there any decent plans out there?

The Guardian assembled 8 gurus.

  • Clare Short: If it is true that our major purpose was to relieve the Iraqi people from the suffering inflicted by Saddam Hussein, then we should hand over political authority to the UN and internationalise the support for Iraqi-led reconstruction. This would make possible the run down and replacement of US/UK troops over time and ensure that the future of Iraq is determined by Iraqis.

Leon Hadar said (Nov2003) To lower public expectations about Iraq would require the White House to accept that the two most likely scenarios under which U.S. troops could exit from Iraq will shatter neo-conservative dreams. Those scenarios are the rise of an Authoritarian leader who could maintain a unified Iraq by centralizing power in Baghdad and the division of Iraq into three separate Kosovo-like mini-states under some kind of regional and international safeguards. That could be a U.S.-Turkish protectorate in the Kurdish north; a European-Arab military presence in the Sunni areas; and a UN authority in the Shiite parts.

Mike Larkin says We get in the troop transport truck, put it in reverse, turn around, and drive like hell for the border... As for losing face in the Arab world, who fucking cares? Getting out of the entire region will do more to calm anti-American sentiment than all this goobleygook about spreading democracy... By the way, my position is not "isolationism." Isolationism is doing whatever you want, without consulting your allies. It's what we're doing now throughout the world.

Lexingon Green (Sep'03) on Walter Russell Mead's Jun'03 article - Mead wrote If Iraqi violence continues to rise, at some point the administration would go to Plan B: Find a general, turn the place over to him and go home. If this happens, it would be a tragedy not only for Iraqis but for the democratic aspirations of the whole Middle East. For Bush, it might not be so bad. Elites would wring their hands, but voters would just shrug their shoulders. Poll after poll shows that Americans want democracy and human rights to spread around the world - but that they don't want American combat troops to be caught in the crossfire. Green follows: Bush's mistake was that instead of reading books by guys like Mead, he believed the two Steves - Stephen Ambrose and Steven Spielberg and that Tom Brokaw guy, too. These guys presented a vision of WWII which was incomplete and hence misleading. We have had a half-generation of people who have been taught that the GIs of WWII went forth to liberate a continent and restore freedom and democracy, and that this was a noble cause. That was true in part. But mostly they went because they were drafted, and after that it was to kick the shit of out of the Japs who bombed us and their pals the Nazis who declared war on us.


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