What are the options?

It seems to me impossible for people from the US to create a democratic (or any other kind of) government in another country. Iraq will wind up with whatever kind of government people there decide on. It may be democtratic or totalitarian. It may be Islamist or secular. In the long run, the US government and military can't dictate what kind of government it will be.

The whole purpose of the US presence in Iraq, as I understand it, is to stand up the kind of government the US thinks Iraq ought to have. The larger the role the US plays in standing it up, the more dependent I think it's likely to be on US support and enforcement.

Sooner or later, the US will have to get out of Iraq. When that happens, the people of Iraq will decide what kind of government they're going to have. It may be that a few will impose their will on the majority. If that's what happens, it will be because the majority allowed it. It may be that a tolerant, open-minded government will arise because the majority of the Iraqi people decide that that's what they want. Either way, it won't be up to the US.

It seems to me that there are basically two options open to the US:

  1. Stay in Iraq trying to prop up an artificial "Western-style" "democracy" for a some period of time, spending vast amounts of US money and lives, and then leave and see what happens, or

  2. Leave now and see what happens.

Either way, in the long run it comes down to leaving and seeing what happens. It can be the long, painful, expensive way, or the shorter, painful, less expensive way. Which way would you prefer?

Support our troops -- bring them home while they're still alive.

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