November 18, 2019
Letter

Withdraw troops now

Our jets, helicopters and troops continue to slaughter innocent Iraqis. Iraqis slaughter our troops. The troops can’t tell good guys from bad guys. Many soldiers are questioning, along with most Americans, what we are doing there at all. This is an impossible situation, for soldiers to lack conviction of the righteousness of their cause. The Army has shut down their blogs so they can’t tell the rest of us about their doubts.

The Congress is still cowed about “not supporting the troops.” While they wring their hands, more troops and more Iraqis get killed.

Congress still worries that we have to fix the place before we leave. However, it is becoming clear that our departure may in itself help reduce the violence and allow the Iraqis to rebuild their country. If not, the United States has zero credibility and success rate in fixing the electric power, the sewers, the hospitals, the safety of the streets, or the schools.

Bush’s corporate crony Halliburton has taken the money, bilked the taxpayers, gone through the motions, and whether or not anything got repaired didn’t matter. (The same process happened with different corporate cronies in New Orleans, Medicare, Homeland Security, and No Child Left Behind.) If the Iraqis want help after we leave, they can call on the UN, their neighbors, or Europe, or China, or the United States.

The best we can do is get out of Iraq now, covering our flanks as we retreat. Generals know how to do this. Let them do it. Now. Congress should not give money for a month or two months. They should call for immediate withdrawal, and as we see it happen, they can give more money for further withdrawal. Withdrawal first, money later. Not the other way around.

Jane McCloskey

Deer Isle


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