Hillary Clinton Can’t be Trusted on Iraq
By Stephen Zunes, Foreign Policy in Focus
Clinton’s position on Iraq is almost indistinguishable from Bush’s. Read more »

  Let’s talk about “emboldening terrorists.” Last week I spoke with Steven Kull, director of the Program on International Policy Attitudes, for an upcoming piece. Kull’s shop has polled Iraqis repeatedly since 2004. He told me: “More than three-quarters of those Iraqis we polled believe the U.S. plans to establish permanent bases in Iraq,” and “it appears that view is closely related to support for attacks on U.S. troops.” In fact, he said, “Among those who believe the U.S. will withdrawal, just 34% favor attacks against U.S. troops, but among those who believe the U.S. will not withdraw, 68% favor attacking coalition forces.”It’s axiomatic that insurgencies require some support from the communities in which they operate. So when Bush and Iraqi PM Nouri Al-Maliki signed a long-term cooperation agreement, they encouraged Iraqis to support the insurgency. Iraqi civilians and U.S. troops are the ones who pay the price. Every time the Bush administration talks about an extended presence in Iraq, every time Bush or his supporters talk about a “Korea Model” of US-backed security in Iraq, every time a presidential candidate says, as Hillary Clinton did recently, that the U.S. must continue its “military as well as political mission” in Iraq for the indefinite future, they short-sightedly deny people the ability to peacefully resist the occupation and force at least some to take up arms who would not otherwise be so inclined.

Talk of a long-term presence in Iraq “emboldens extremists” and gets people killed. Just about everyone with a decent handle on the dynamics at work in Iraq understands this, but it rarely enters our own discourse.

We do what we can to influence that discussion, and there’s some great content this week.

-Joshua Holland
Editor, War on Iraq special coverage

FOUND AT:  www.alternet.org


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