I recently had a small debate over the conflict in Iraq. I proposed that it is time to bring U.S. forces home. For the record, I think that U.S. forces posted around the globe (in countries as threatening as Germany) should also be brought home. The latter kind of soldiers should be brought home because what their presence accomplishes does not outweigh their cost. The former should be brought home because it is the right thing to do.
My opponent, however, suggested that withdrawing from Iraq may not be the most prudent thing. There are many problems in Iraq, he pointed out, that still need fixing.
I replied that the main problem in Iraq is that we have forces in Iraq.
But if we leave, then Iraq will fall into the hands of our enemies, he countered.
Yet, I pointed out, Iraq wasn't exactly our friend before the war, and we were quite able then to be unfriendly with Iraq at a fraction of the cost in dollars and blood. Besides, the lessons of history side with the enemy. When Saddam said that Iraq would be another Vietnam, he was apparently right.
But he insisted that we should still try to do something.
However, I countered, we've been doing many things for many years now, but to no real avail. Besides, it stands to logic that since we had no business invading Iraq in the first place, we sure as hell have no business staying there. According to the United States Constitution (an archaic document to most politicians--except for Ron Paul), Congress must declare war before the executive branch can wage it. Oops, I guess we overlooked that one (it's like executing a suspected murderer before he's given a trial).
In the end, I think that what he couldn't accept--what too many Americans can't accept--is the real bottom line: we've lost. How does the mighty United States lose to a rag-tag bunch of bandits? Ask the Romans in 9 AD. Ask the British circa 1783. Ask the French circa 1954. Ask the United States circa 1975. Ask the Russians circa 1989. You can ask many others, including the Brits of the late 1940's who lost India and Pakistan even though there was not a massive, violent revolt against their occupation.
The best thing we can do is leave. Let the Iraqis sort out for themselves the kind of government they wish. We took care of Saddam. If a better Iraq is worth fighting for, then the Iraqi citizen will fight for it. If he or she prefers Islamist tyranny, then there's not much (if anything) that we can do about it.
Leaving is the first step to peace. We can be friendly with countries that do not share our particular values (e.g. China).We buddy up to the Chinese government because they have things that we want, and we have things that they want. It's called trade.
Iraq had oil. We want oil. There is a trade relationship in the making, if only we back off and let it happen. The longer we stay, the farther away that peace will be. The longer we stay, the poorer they will be and the poorer we will be. The longer we stay, the more dead Iraqis there will be and the more dead Americans there will be. The longer we stay, everything gets worse.
So please give me a reason why we should stay in Iraq, and please make it a reason that doesn't involve an argument amounting simply to "sticking with it"--because if we continue to "stick with" what we've got, we're in for a world of hurt.
FYI: Ron Paul is the only Republican candidate who voted against the Iraq war from the beginning. Hell, even Hillary "die furer" Clinton voted for the invasion of Iraq.
Psst, Golf Guy. This is a well planned lure to start a debate with you.