Thursday, April 27, 2006

Let the Iraqis Decide

Jonah Goldberg has an interesting idea. Let the Iraqis vote on whether the US troops should stay or go.

He thinks (and I agree with his analysis) that the vast majority would vote for us to stay. This would take the legs out of all the rhetoric about "evil occupiers" that Al Qaeda and the Democrats use in describing the operations in Iraq. If the majority votes for us to leave, then we show respect for the ballot and go.

I am interested in hearing arguments against the proposal. There has to be some downsides that I am not seeing at first pass.


Blogger Germanicu$ said...

I don't think it's such a great idea. But that's because I don't put much stock in democracy. 51% of the voting citizens of Iraq (or any other country, for that matter) could be completely wrong, and they'd "win."

How would such a referendum be enforced? Since the US government is not beholden to obey the laws of foreign countries, if Iraq voted for us to leave, we'd be under no obligation to do so. Would the Iraqi army take up arms and kick us out, to comply with their newly passed law? Similarly, if the referendum says we should stay, and we leave (eventually we're going to leave, right?), won't we have "violated" Iraqi law?

Clearly you and Jonah support such a referendum because of the symbolic implications. But I really doubt it will stop people from referring to us as "occupiers." It certainly won't stop roadside bombs from being set off.

Exactly which Democrats describe our operations in Iraq as an evil occupation? Names, please. Or was that just a slanderous mis-attribution?

1:31 PM  
Blogger George W. Bush said...

1.) If there was a up and down vote of Iraqi's AND they voted for continued US military presence in their homeland it doesn't necessarily reflect their love for Uncle Sam. The source of this desire would be the fact that this mess was caused by us, and i'm sure there is a segment of the population that wants us around to clean it up and shoulder the responsiblity of this historic 'fuck up'.

2.) In my opinion a 'vote' is a cop out. It merely shifts the burden of making a decision onto the Iraqi's

3.) The US is hamstrung here, you leave and perhaps there is civil war, you stay perhaps there is a civil war. Shifting the onus onto the people of Iraq is a novel approach, but not workable.

4.) Then you have to wonder about US public opinion, i'm not going to take the time to cite a poll, but I guarantee a solid majority believes the 'War' was a bad idea and it is really the people that are paying for this fiasco. If I had my druthers I'd cut our loses and Get the F*ck out of dodge. We stay and we're going to be there for the forseeable future. Let them fight it out, eventually the violence would curtail itself. Right?

1:38 PM  
Blogger Tim said...

Maybe I missed something. Which
Democrats called the troops
"evil occupiers"? I'd like to
see a link to that.

6:05 PM  
Blogger hurtleg said...

I did a quick google search and found this from Howard Dean on Hardball on June 30th, 2005:

"The other people that are creating the mayhem on the streets of Baghdad are people who are fighting for their country. There are local people who disagree with their occupation."

I guess he didn't use the word evil, I was just reading between the lines of the rhetoric.

7:27 PM  
Blogger Germanicu$ said...

"I guess he didn't use the word evil, I was just reading between the lines of the rhetoric."

Ri-i-ight. This is why it's difficult to take seriously your exhortations for "Adults on the left." If you talk the talk, you have to walk the walk. Saying "Al Qaeda and the Democrats" refer to an "evil occupation", when all you can muster to back it up is "reading between the lines" of something Howard Dean said, does nothing to elevate the debate to the level you seem to expect from the Left. It's not even vitriolic; it's just sloppy, and weakens to the point of paralysis any point you are trying to make.

Further reflection on Jonah's idea: Maybe instead of suggesting that foreigners vote on whether our military should occupy their country, we could pose the question to our own citizens. Would Jonah and hurtleg also support a similar referendum in the US?

8:54 AM  
Blogger hurtleg said...

The evil occupation comment should not have been in quotes, it was not a direct attribution, just a general sense of the tone.

Actually I agree with you, I fell victim to a little bit of the IowaHerbman type cheapshot and it took away from the main point of the question I asked. You are correct that it is sloppy and you are right to call me on it.

9:12 AM  
Blogger George W. Bush said...


You're like Honey out of the fridge. Sweet but to cold to spread.

I'm curious, what 'cheap shots' are you referring to? I know sometimes, for you, the truth is hard to swallow, and labelling facts as cheap shots allows you side-step the perilous position of our country.

If it works for you don't fix it right?

10:35 AM  

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