Iraqis To US: “Don’t Let The Door Hit You On The Way Out”


Saddam Toppled 2003

Saddam's Statue Toppled 2003

Years ago, when I was dating a young lady who worked in a travel agency, a huge poster on the wall beside her desk always intrigued me. It said, “Come Visit The Middle East… Where It All Began.” There was actually a series of these posters, each featuring a different middle eastern country. This particular one featured photos of Iraq. It did the trick. I longed to go there and visit this strange, but alluring country.

This morning’s Christian Science Monitor reports tens of thousands of supporters of Shiite leader Moqtada al-Sadr converged in Firdos Square in Baghdad, to demand that U.S. President Obama “fulfill his promise to withdraw US troops.” This happens, no coincidence by the way, on the sixth anniversary of the day US Troops and joyful Iraqis pulled down the statue of Saddam Hussein that had stood guard in this same square for years in tribute to the former leader.

File this under, “Allah never lets any good deeds go unpunished.”   Tt comes as no surprise to me that the Iraqis would eventually demand US troops vacate the country they liberated from the hands of  murderous tyrant Saddam Hussein.  It should further be pointed out that people in this region were deep into America Bashing long before it became so in vogue that even our current President loves to participate by apologizing for virtually everything this country has done since liberating Europe in WWII. 

Reading between the lines, however, this poses an interesting conundrum for the Obama administration.

  • When he was campaigning, Obama repeatedly announced he would end the war quickly and bring the troops home. He often refused to give a specific date or define “quickly.”  This was done principally to give him an edge over Hillary Clinton (really an unnecessary campaign promise, as ACORN had pretty much cleared the way for his nomination through their alleged voter registration fraud in numerous key states).
  • Obama announced on February 27th of this year: “Let me say this as plainly as I can: By August 31st, 2010, our combat mission in Iraq will end.” 
  • But in the same speech, Obama added he plans to leave a force of 35,000 to 50,000 to advise Iraqi security forces, conduct counter-terrorism missions and protect U.S. personnel.  That’s about half of the number of troops we started out with in 2003.  I’m not sure the Iraqis will see this as a full withdrawal of troops.  Perhaps more of a problem for Obama, those who elected him based on his alleged commitment to end the war and bring all the troops home are bound to be disappointed.

The fact is, history will eventually show that Bush was right to go into Iraq for reasons too numerous to go into in this short space. Key among those reasons, however, was to install some sense of a democracy in a region where the vast majority of people live in the 14th century or earlier based on religious beliefs. These are a people who have fought amongst themselves with sticks and stones for centuries.

Until they caught up to the technologies of war. Now, government and religious radicals in this region have (or are developing) weapons that can essentially wipe the entire Middle East of the face of planet earth. And, unlike western nations, they don’t care if that happens, because it’s an honor to kill and/or BE killed for Allah.

Stability in this region isn’t an option.

The bottom line? It’s not a popular one, but here it is, boys and girls: Bush was right. And Obama would be wise to stick to his guns about maintaining a presence of 20,000-30,000 troops in the area.

It’s been years since I dated that young lady, and I don’t know whatever became of her.  But I can visualize the poster that would be in that office today… “Come See The Middle East. Where It All Began. Before It All Ends.”

Gerry Ashley

2 Responses to Iraqis To US: “Don’t Let The Door Hit You On The Way Out”

  1. Karagush says:

    My guys a Marine who has just returned from Iraq. He does security so hes around people. There was an uptick in violence after handing off his area to 100% Iraqi forces. And he says THEY DO NOT WANT US GONE. MAybe a vocal minority gets reported. Most people, Most of the Iraqi forces, WANT US THERE, and they are downright afraid for us to go.

  2. Gerry Ashley says:

    Thank you for your reply. I have to agree with you. I think it’s important that we keep that 20,000-30,000 troop presence there… at least for awhile. But there will come a time when the people of Iraq will be in a position where they have to do this on their own. WE did it in this country. Other democracies have all had to start out with little more than the desire to be free and then, together, make it happen.

    The difference in Iraq, of course, is you have “native Iraqis” from different factions within their own borders at odds with each other. That’s not likely to change until and unless this “New Democracy” we’ve helped them obtain has had time to establish roots. That might take a generation. But it will be one of America’s finest achievements in the world, if we can one day step back and say, “WE are the ones who brought democracy to this region… and it’s finally stable.”

    Most of us may not live to see that day, but if we have the courage of our conviction and stand by our American principals, those fine men and women of our Armed Forces will continue to do their part to make it happen. That is, if a certain Rookie President doesn’t throw the baby out with the bathwater by emasculating our military as he has announced he wants to do.

    Honestly, we need to ask ourselves two questions:

    The first one is: “Can a democracy take hold and last in Iraq?” I think we’re seeing the answer there is “Yes, but it will take time.”

    Sadly, the second question we MUST ask ourselves: Given his actions in his first 70 days of his administration, Can the U.S. survive under Barack Obama? Or will we become a socialist state much like the Soviet Union used to be?

    On behalf of Grand Rants, please extend our thanks your “guy” for his service to his country. He has our undying respect.

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