The Insurgents Will Wait Us Out No Matter What -- They Live There!
Donald Rumsfeld said this weekend that withdrawal plans send a message to the insurgents that if they wait us out, they can prevail. The Bush administration has said repeatedly that even talking about withdrawing will cause the insurgents to wait us out. Isn't it obvious that this rationale is devoid of any and all logic?
The insurgents LIVE in Iraq. They're going to "wait us out" no matter what we do!
U.S. commanders in the field have repeatedly said that over 90% the insurgents are local Iraqis. If we tell them that we are never going to leave, do you think that will make them fight less against us? And if we were to win the game of waiting them out, where would they go? Back home? They're already home!
In their minds -- whether you agree with them or not -- they are fighting for their homeland, their culture and their people. Over 80% of the people polled in Iraq say they want the American troops out of their country. Now, do you think those people are going to fight more or fight less if we tell them we will be staying indefinitely?
Of course, they will fight harder if they think we are a permanent occupation. If we cannot even begin to discuss when we could withdraw from Iraq -- how can it be argued that we are not a permanent occupation?
This whole thing is circular. They are fighting us because they think we are occupying their homeland. We say we will not stop occupying them until they stop fighting our occupation. So we can leave as soon as they stop fighting us to get us to leave.
There's another easier way to get them to stop fighting us -- leave.
Conservatives assume that means we cut and run and that the insurgents win. But if by winning they mean, the insurgents get to stay in Iraq, of course, they will win. How many times do I have to say this -- they live there!
If we were fighting the Iraqis over some neutral territory, like Canada or Poland or Kuwait, then the test of wills would make some degree of sense. Then we could show them that we will not leave Canada before they do. But if we are fighting the Canadians in Canada, how could we ever hope to wait them out? I suppose, instead of leaving, they could bow their heads and accept our permanent occupation -- but is that what America wants to fight for?
The insurgents (read Sunnis) eventually have to come to some understanding or deal with the Iraqi government (read Shiites and Kurds). The US forces occupying Iraq does not expedite this deal, it slows it down. The insurgents are not going to stop fighting the Iraqi government if they think it is a tool of the US occupation.
Ultimately, we cannot control whether the insurgents strike a deal with the rest of Iraq. What we can control is whether they are fighting us. They will not stop fighting because they cannot leave. They have nowhere else to go. But we can end the fighting by terminating the indefinite occupation of Iraq and coming back to our homes.
Cenk Uygur is co-host of The Young Turks, the first liberal radio show to air nationwide. The Young Turks began as Sirius Satellite Radio’s first original program, and, while still on Sirius, is now nationally syndicated and available on itunes and online at www.youngturk.com and www.radiopower.org.