Disorderly or Not, America Should Withdraw from Iraq (By William Pfaff in Truthdig)

..What about a disorderly withdrawal? What if that is the only available withdrawal? In that case, is it the larger American interest to stay indefinitely in Iraq, fighting on for the sake of staying, or to leave in disorder?

What if the Iraq government tells the United States to leave, as Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has threatened in his negotiations with Washington on what terms the United States would be allowed to stay beyond the U.N. mandate that ends Dec. 31. He has refused the U.S. demands originally made—for total extraterritoriality and sovereign freedom of action, together with authority to seize and imprison Iraqi individuals.

The Defense Department and this administration are ferociously committed to staying in Iraq, in order to hold onto the huge military bases constructed there, and for Iraq’s oil. They will pay a lot for that, but if Maliki should stick to his demand for Iraqi sovereignty over the U.S. military, they would look for an alternative. Perhaps a new Iraqi government? Maliki himself might gamble on a new government—a new one in Washington…

Disorderly or Not, America Should Withdraw (By William Pfaff in Truthdig)


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