As a follow-up to my comment (in the post below) regarding Iraq, linked is a pair of insightful articles on current public opinion and two fallacies in the Administration’s thinking on Iraq.
Excerpt from the first article, which deals with current public opinion regarding Iraq:
Most important of all, given the arrival of the Iraq Study Group’s “consensus” proposal for a “phased withdrawal” that is to begin without a timetable in sight, 58% of Americans, according to PIPA, want a withdrawal of all U.S. troops on a timeline – 18% within six months, 25% within a year, 15% within two years. Moreover, if the Iraqi government were to request such a withdrawal on a year’s deadline, 77% of respondents (including 73% of Republicans) think we should take them up on it. In this they agree with the Iraqi public. As Middle Eastern expert Robert Dreyfuss wrote recently, “Polls have shown that up to 80% of Sunni Arabs and 60% of Shiite Arabs want an immediate end to the occupation.
Regarding the second article, the two Administration fallacies it mentions are as follows:
– Once More Iraqi Troops are Trained, Both the Insurgency and the American Presence Will Decline
– Once Enough Troops Are Brought into Baghdad, Sectarian Violence Will Subside
The second article closes with the following comments:
There is more at stake here than a battle of wills over who will rule various cities in Iraq. The ferocious resistance against American rule derives from the original goals of the American-led invasion: installing a regime in Iraq that, minimally, would embrace a military alliance with the United States, a foreign policy actively hostile to Iran (and Syria), and an economic policy that replaced state-delivered food and oil subsidies with a “free market” dominated by American multinational companies.
From the beginning, the various factions that are contending for control of Iraq-on-the-ground have resisted elements of this Bush administration program. The Shia detested the American insistence on antagonism to Iran; the Sunni rebelled against the de-Baathification policies instituted by our viceroy in Baghdad, J. Paul Bremer III, the dismantling of state-run enterprises, and the disbanding of the military; the oil workers struck against the contracts that allowed American oil companies to dominate the marketing of Iraqi oil; and virtually everyone resisted the elimination of fuel and food subsidies.
More of anything that the U.S. is doing is bound to prove just another effort to win a war of conquest and occupation whose goals are antithetical to just about every Iraqi desire. What more ensures is only more death, more destruction, and more violence. Instead, the U.S. should discontinue its efforts to militarily dominate the oil heartlands of the Middle East and withdraw its troops from Iraq.”