Wednesday, November 14, 2007

House vote on Iraq is naïve, irresponsible

The Democratic-controlled U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday approved a war-funding bill with a timeline for troop withdrawal from Iraq and substantially less funds to conduct the war than President Bush has requested, according to this report from CNN.

To be sure US President George Bush will veto the vote, as threatened. The vote which went mainly along party lines cites December 15 next year as the date for US combat troops to be out of Iraq.

The Democrats have once again acted naïve and irresponsible. America has to know that it just can’t go and shake up the institutions of a country, including its army, impose new ones of its own, and then say, “ Nice knowing you guys. Try and manage”.

The war was ill-conceived from the start, but the US cannot pull out from Iraq just because things didn’t turn out to the advantage of Americans.

There is a civil war going on in Iraq, with Sunnis and Shias battling each other, and with the prospect of the Kurds trying to find their own independent solution to the problem. If Americans pull out prematurely, there will be terrible bloodshed in Iraq. This is not the point in time when the US can say, “let us live it to the Iraqis to solve their problems”.

It is the responsibility of the US to now help move the country politically towards a solution, which as some suggest could be a loose federal system where each ethnic and religious group have control over autonomous regions. The US has to also work with the Kurds, Sunnis and Shias to pass in the Iraq Parliament a formula for the management and sharing of oil revenue.

A number of Democrats including Hillary Clinton voted authorizing the war. They now have to live with the consequences of the war, rather than scamper when the going gets hot.

It makes for great political posturing for the Democrats to vote for a withdrawal within a time-line. Their constituents will love it. But the Democrats, including Clinton, have yet to come forward with a proposal for the resolution of the Iraq problem. The Democrats are at this point not conveying to the US, Iraq, and the rest of the world that they have a grip on the Iraq problem, that they have the capacity to think beyond their vote banks.

Related article:
Why the US should stay in Iraq

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