What’s an Occupier to Do?

There is quite a flurry of writing going on post-election as the arguments shift away from painting a rosy picture (since the American public is clearly not buying that) to the notion that our presence there is needed to prevent something *really* awful from happening. It fits well into our sense that we are a benevolent nation (sometimes true) rather than the nation that has created the violent, bloody conflict the world now has to grapple with.

The NY Times ran an article this week in which it quotes military advisors who advise, well… more military. I’m not going to go on and on, as tempting as it is, about the saying “If you only have a hammer, every problem is a nail,” but it certainly is relevant. The article also quotes Senator Levin (D-MI, go Michigan! Beth, you can be proud) explaining that this situation does not have a purely military solution. I’m not sure I agree with his specific strategy for what will happen as we scale down, though.

I think this article from the Atlantic is a bit more balanced: http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200611u/iraq-debate

In general, I reject the idea that our presence there is somehow holding off disaster. Iraq was a violent place before the recent US invasion, but we were partly responsible for that, having provided support for the rise of that regime… and now, given that well, hundreds of thousands of people have died since we’ve invaded, I just can’t wrap my mind around this idea that they just need more of us to make everything better.

And, as I pointed out in a previous post, we have to also keep in mind that it’s not just up to us, but to the Iraqi people… check out the previous post for more on this.
In the meantime, though, I’m going to keep arguing that we need to keep calling for a pull-out, and yes, you guessed it, that Portland needs to be a city that’s calling for returning our troops home. You can read all about the Portland resolution here.

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