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Thursday, December 08, 2005
A Modest Propsal

Ed Koch is about the only thing my mom (60's liberal) and I (90's conservative) agree on and he has a new proposal on Iraq. I don't think it has a snowball's chance in Hell of being adopted but I am curious what folks, on the right - and left, think of it: (It makes a lot of sense it me)

I believe we should state formally before the UN Security Council that it is our intention to totally withdraw our military forces in Iraq within the next six months, with orders to withdraw to be announced as soon as possible. The withdrawal would take place unless our NATO allies and our allies in the Gulf region -- Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Jordan, Kuwait, Egypt and others -- immediately commit combat troops to Iraq in proportion to the size of their military and agree to pay their fair share of the cost of the war.

Our representative to the UN, John Bolton, should state that while the UN Security Council was divided on whether to enforce by military means the unanimously-adopted Resolution 1441, it was unanimous in supporting Security Council resolutions authorizing our remaining in Iraq to stabilize it.

Bolton should state we have tried to stabilize Iraq and are willing to continue to try, but not alone. U.S. forces have suffered 2,125 deaths and 15,881 injuries since hostilities began. The deaths, casualties and costs are too much for the U.S. to bear unaided. We have 160,000 troops there. Our closest ally, Great Britain, has around 8,500, and other coalition forces have as few as several hundred. Some coalition forces have already entirely withdrawn their troops, e.g., Spain. Others have stated they are reducing their number or totally withdrawing their troops, e.g., Italy and Bulgaria.

Unless our allies and the UN Security Council are willing to participate and sacrifice proportionately by providing troops and money, we should leave. If our allies and the UN Security Council are not prepared to join us in seeking to create an atmosphere where a democratically-elected Iraqi government can function and prevent a civil war among the three major factions -- Kurds, Shiites and Sunnis -- we should not remain in Iraq.

Many have told me that this proposal sounds good, but it won't fly. Other nations simply won't provide troops at this time. I disagree. The reason I believe they will come in is that they have as much or more to lose as a result of our leaving. In the event of civil war, Iraq’s regional neighbors will be sucked in with Saudi Arabia, Jordan and other Sunni-dominated countries, afraid of Iran taking over the Shiite-dominated areas on Iran's border, and Turkey seeking to dominate the Kurdish areas to squelch any idea of an independent Kurdistan. The pressure to prevent the consequences of a civil war would compel many of these countries, including Russia, to enter the fray at this time to prevent one from starting. It would be far less burdensome for them to come in while the U.S. is still in Iraq, then to have to do so after we've left. When we leave, there is no assurance that we will come back. That is why I believe our allies, who should have stood with us originally even if they disagreed with us -- and certainly since the UN Security Council and the newly-elected Iraqi government have asked us to remain -- will join us now rather than see us leave. Let's give it a shot. The U.S. deaths and casualties are simply too great to bear alone.

If the rest of the world doesn't think it is in their interests to join us, then it is still right for us to leave. We've more than paid our dues in blood and money.

To paraphrase the great man himself - How's he doin'?

I know that Skip is a big fan of Koch, but don't tell his wife.

You raise an interesting question, Chris. Which of the following two options do you think the UN would choose (assuming the US offered them that horrible ultimatum):

Option 1: Come to the aid of the United States in defense of Iraqi freedom.
Option 2: Do nothing, watch US pull troops out in humiliating defeat.

I think we all know the answer to that one.
Correct me if I am wrong, Chris, but isn't Koch a Jewish name?
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