Feb 182007
Authors: Andy Nicewicz

In my last week’s column, I left off saying that the proposals of various Democrat presidential candidates to withdraw from Iraq are a bad idea. Here’s why.

There are numerous possibilities, but here’s my vision of things to come if we do withdraw: Without U.S. troops to provide even a semblance of stability, Iraq will erupt into total civil war, making what’s going on there now look like child’s play.

Iran will likely intervene on behalf of the Shiites, becoming the sole influence in the region.

The de-stability of Iraq will spread to other adjoining countries, threatening our considerable resources in the region.

Iraq will become the world-wide terrorist training center and staging ground. Moreover, all of the terrorists unoccupied with U.S. forces will look for other targets. Could be Afghanistan. Could be Israel. Could be Europe. Could be right here in the United States.

No one in the Muslim world will ever help us out again. Not only has the war in Iraq fanned hatred of the United States to all time highs, but if we leave now, we will be leaving any of our supporters to fend for themselves, which probably won’t wind up too good for them.

Finally, us withdrawing from Iraq will be a huge victory for Al-Qaeda and other terrorist organizations. After seeing us give up in Vietnam, Somalia, and now Iraq, the threat of the United States using military force in any sustained operation with the likeliness of high casualties seems much less credible. I highly doubt Iran is shaking in its boots right now.

Now I do need to reiterate that the above mentioned possibilities are just only possibilities, but my concerns are shared by others (see: Washington Post columnist Frederick W. Kagan’s Oct. 25, 2006 column “Insult to Injury in Iraq”).

There are also very legitimate arguments that refute these reasons for not withdrawing from Iraq, mainly that all of them are already happening.

I guess I just have to believe there is a better solution than withdrawing. Can’t any Democrat think of an idea that will address the core causes of violence in Iraq? Or maybe a plan that doesn’t involve a veritable “screw you guys” directed at the Iraqi people?

Of course the same can be asked of the Republicans in charge as well. After over three years of unsuccessful strategies, the best you can come up with is sending more troops? Wow.

I don’t know, I just have a strange feeling escalation isn’t the answer. (see Vietnam War, Escalation of, 1963-1968).

Now I know I’m not offering any better solutions, but I’m just a college kid writing a column in the school newspaper. The people who are running to be the next President should be the ones coming up with brilliant strategies.

And by the way, if anyone reading this knows of a person running that has a brilliant strategy to end the war in Iraq, please tell me. Because that’s the person I’m going to vote for in ’08!

But maybe such a person and such a strategy just doesn’t exist. Maybe withdrawal is the best and only viable option.

One thing is for certain though, we’ve got to do something different.

Andy Nicewicz is a senior political science major. His column appears every Monday in the Collegian. Replies and feedback can be sent to letters@collegian.com.

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