Friday, December 22, 2006

A Passage to Peace for U.S.

CNN has just reported that an umbrella coalition of insurgent groups in Iraq have offered the U.S. the chance of a 30-day safe passage withdrawal. And even though the caveats the coalition have proposed are immense and risky and perhaps should be negotiated quickly with the aim to comply in general, I think this is an offer the U.S. should not refuse.

Get out with a 30 day ceasefire. Leave the large weapons and military bases behind. We have two weeks to decide. By my calendar, that means a major stroke of history in the region will be decided by on or about January 6.

Mr. Bush, there is an amazing opportunity in both the offering and the accepting (or declining) of this resolution. It may be a blow to your stubborn gut, but hit the negotiating table hard, but stick to their deadlines, and take it. Get out now, and we won't have to consider the draft and other imperial debacles.

Perhaps snapping up this chance with the good tidings of the holidays upon us (and the growing impatience of the American people) could even be seen as a "victory" of sorts. And clearly, if we did leave by February, the aftermath, for better or worse, could from that point on clearly be attributed to the success or failure of the Iraqi people to wrestle back their civility and governance from beyond the brink of civil and, moreover, regional war and worldwide jihad.

I say, in no uncertain terms, take the full two weeks to ponder this, but behind the scenes, start planning the withdrawal of ALL American forces, all American citizens, and the relinquishment of all U.S. claims to any lands, bases, or positions within the borders of the sovereign nation of Iraq.

If we truly want Iraq to take responsibility for itself, it will have to do so. It will have to deal with its own insurgents, its own internal strife and struggle, its own rocky road to civil governance.

From afar, we can wish them well and send food and books and billions for schools and even new buildings -- and put this chapter of outrageously meddlesome American imperialism to rest.

This would, I think, be a real step toward more peace on Earth.

Peace on Earth, and goodwill to ALL.


At 12/23/2006 7:38 AM, Anonymous apolitical hq said...

This offer was made by a coalition of INSURGENT GROUPS. So where would that leave the present govt. of IRAQ? Alone to fight the insurgents. It would surely be overthrown. What kind of Govt would result? This looks like surrender, even to ME! Do we negotiate with terrorists?

I'll have to read more about this offer. Apolitical HQ

At 12/23/2006 11:41 AM, Blogger Lawrence said...

Apolitical HQ, I can appreciate your apprehension, but I think we need to get out of the Middle East entirely and the sooner the better.

As for this offer from insurgents, I just saw this headlined on CNN and jumped at it, glad for any excuse to get out of Iraq, thinking ANY complete exit is good. If it turns out to be a mistake, we can send our apologies with the Red Cross. But I'm not buying the Pottery Barn doctrine attributed to Colin Powell, "You break it, you own it."

We might have shattered a lot more than was broken before, but we don't own the country. Would Americans want any outside force to solve our civil strife? I think Iraqi maturity depends on Iraqis figuring some of this out for themselves. We can send food, medical care and the tools of education. I think that's the only high road there is there for us.

At 12/23/2006 11:52 AM, Blogger Lawrence said...

Also, I would add that yes, indeed, you do negotiate with your enemies. You treat them as you would wish to be treated, with clarity and opportunity. Dangerous, risky negotiations are better than bombs and bullets ANY day.

And I've noticed since posting this Friday how little coverage I am seeing of this story. I figured it would be HUGE within hours. What gives?


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