Monday, July 28, 2008

Me neither.

Steve Benen
I don’t think the war’s over.
It's not a question of whether there's a war, but of which war, and whose wars they are. That's the problem with the "conditions on the ground" talk we hear. Among the conditions on the ground is the war caused by the presence of an occupying army. We can stop that war any time we like. There's another war, taking place on both military and political levels, that's ongoing but will likely intensify in our absence. That's a hard truth. Things in Iraq may well get very much worse before they get very much better, and there's likely nothing short of endless occupation we can do about that. We can't just wait out the conflicting forces. They live there. They have no where else to go.

Of course, even if we try to outlast the potential for post-occupation conflict, there will be at least two low intensity wars - a nationalist fight against occupation and a civil war between conflicting religious, ethnic and political interests looking for power, or a share of power, in a post-occupation Iraq.

Withdrawal won't be peace. It's a necessary first step, though.

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