4 thoughts on “Moral Culpability When Holocaust Follows Retreat

  1. What about the moral culpability for 3,000 Americans and 600,000 Iraqis killed because of an unnecesary war based on lies? Let’s remember that Christpher Hitchens, once described as “a drink-soaked former Trotskyist popinjay” has been an advocate for all the policies and decisions that have proven so disasterously false in Iraq.

    First the use of the word Holocaust is in itself excessive and hyperbolic, a veiled allusion the discredited Nazi-era appeasement argument used to attack opponents of the decision to invade Iraq. There have been plenty of civil wars and unless there is systematic and widespread genocide no one refers to the casualties as “a holocaust”.

    Second, Hitchens pretends like the situation in Iraq isn’t already “grave and deteriorating“. In fact the United nations has estimated that over 34,000 Iraqis were killed by sectarian violence, despite the presence of over 100,000 US troops in Iraq already. It’s hard to see what difference an addtional 21,000 US soldiers are going to have.

    Thirdly, despite it’s questionable effectiveness, the escallation strategy Hitchens advocates places American servicemen and women in heightened danger. They will be asked to serve side by side with Iraqi troops who could turn on them at a vulnerable moment. Furthermore, a proposed strategy increases the liklihood of a confrontation with the agitated Shiite militias from Sadr City, and the Shiite-backed puppet government of Al-Maliki. This would leave US troops completely friendless and completely surrounded by hostile Iraqi factions. Military expert Pat lang has written:

    Until now the Shiite Arabs of Iraq have been told by their leaders to leave American forces alone. But an escalation of tensions between Iran and the US could change that overnight. Moreover, the ever-increasing violence of the civil war in Iraq can change the alignment of forces there unexpectedly.

    Southern Iraq is thoroughly infiltrated by Iranian special operations forces working with Shiite militias, such as Moqtada al-Sadr’s Mahdi Army and the Badr Brigades. Hostilities between Iran and the United States or a change in attitude toward US forces on the part of the Baghdad government could quickly turn the supply roads into a “shooting gallery” 400 to 800 miles long.

    The vulnerable line of supply to US troops in Iraq

    Anyone who has read the comments of Al-Maliki in response to the Whitte House Iraq escallation proposal can tell you that the Shiites have ben very cool towards it – basically Al-M wants the US to give him waepons and then go home.

    Lastly, with his neo-conservative blinders firmly fixed on his his head, Hitchens omits any consideration of non-military, diplomatic approaches towards resolution of the conflict. Many other nations in the middle-east have a vested interest in the outcome of the Iraqi civil war. Neither Saudi Arabia or Egypt want to see the Iraqi sunnis slaughtered. Turkey is extremely nervous about an independent Kurdistan emerging from a partitioned Iraq. Iran may find this to be a good time to strike a settlent and consolidate the gains of their Iraqi Shiite allies. We should be engaging, and takling to all of Iraq’s neighbors as the Iraq Study Group recommended.

    We need to negotiate the substitution of troops from Muslim nations as substitutes for US forces in Iraq as quickly possible, not expose our overstained military to further unnecesary danger.

  2. The article could just as easily be titled “Moral Culpability When Holocaust Follows Invasion” or “Moral Culpability When Holocaust Follows Failed Occupation.”

  3. More evidence that Bush’s escalation plan, which calls for American servicemen to be embedded with Iraqis, is doomed before it starts:

    New details also emerged about clashes on Saturday in the Shiite holy city of Karbala, which left five Americans dead. Lt. Col. Scott R. Bleichwehl, an American military spokesman, said the gunmen who stormed the provincial governor’s office during a meeting between American and local officials were wearing what appeared to be American military uniforms in an effort to impersonate United States soldiers.

    The sophisticated attack hinted at what could be a new threat for American troops as they start a fresh security plan centered on small bases in Baghdad’s bloodiest neighborhoods, where soldiers will live and work with Iraqi forces. Military officials have said that one of their greatest concerns is that troops will be vulnerable to attack from killers who appear to be colleagues.

    U.S. Toll in Iraq Is 27 for Deadly Weekend

  4. Senator Jim Webb did a brilliant job last night showing us clearly where moral culpability lies:

    Like so many other Americans, today and throughout our history, we serve and have served, not for political reasons, but because we love our country. On the political issues ­ those matters of war and peace, and in some cases of life and death ­ we trusted the judgment of our national leaders. We hoped that they would be right, that they would measure with accuracy the value of our lives against the enormity of the national interest that might call upon us to go into harm’s way.

    We owed them our loyalty, as Americans, and we gave it. But they owed us­ sound judgment, clear thinking, concern for our welfare, a guarantee that the threat to our country was equal to the price we might be called upon to pay in defending it.

    The President took us into this war recklessly. He disregarded warnings from the national security adviser during the first Gulf War, the chief of staff of the army, two former commanding generals of the Central Command, whose jurisdiction includes Iraq, the director of operations on the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and many, many others with great integrity and long experience in national security affairs. We are now, as a nation, held hostage to the predictable ­ and predicted ­ disarray that has followed.

    The war’s costs to our nation have been staggering. Financially. The damage to our reputation around the world. The lost opportunities to defeat the forces of international terrorism. And especially the precious blood of our citizens who have stepped forward to serve.

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