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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Iraq--When Can We Go Home?

Report Tom Ricks had an article in Sunday's edition of The Washington Post, talking about Iraq.  Titled "The war in Iraq isn't over. The main events may not even have happened yet," this article explores the question of how long our presence in Iraq may continue, even under the Obama Administration.  It is a good article and well written.

Here is the money quote:
"What the world ultimately thinks about us and what we think about ourselves," U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker said to me last year, "is going to be determined much more by what happens from now on than what's happened up to now."

In other words, the events for which the Iraq war will be remembered probably haven't even happened yet.
Remembering that we are still in Germany, Japan, Italy and Korea, we should realize that the troops don't come home quickly.  Heck, we are still in the UK and we were allies with the Brits during WWII.

Iraq is at the stage we were when some woman asked Benjamin Franklin what kind of Government they had developed and he responded, "A Republic; if you can keep it."

Yes, we are pulling our forces back into base camps and turning more responsibilities over to the Iraqi Army and Police, but it will be a while before we know if Iraq has settled in to being some form of a democracy.  I wish them well.  I hope that our Federal Government doesn't pull out too early and undo what our time, treasure and sacrifice has achieved.

Iraq as a functioning democracy would be a wonderful thing.  It would also be an example for other nations in the region.  It won't be easy.  Look at poor Lebanon.  But, it is doable.

Regards  --  Cliff

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