Democrats & Liberals Archives

The Noble Goal is Theocracy

Cindy Sheehan asks what is the “noble goal” her son died for. President Bush gives his usual non-answers. Chuck Hagel, an honest Republican, who is repelled and upset by the administration’s dangerous incompetence, favors getting out. Senator Russ Feingold, who was against the Iraq war from the beginning, says we must work on an exit strategy. Now we hear that the Shiites and the Kurds have proposed a constitution based on Islamic law. The noble goal appears to be an Iraqi theocracy. Let’s get outa there!

Bush, this past Saturday peddled his usual nonsense:

"They know that if we do not confront these evil men abroad, we will have to face them one day in our own cities and streets, and they know that the safety and security of every American is at stake in this war, and they know we will prevail."

Al Qaeda can attack anywhere. It has done so recently in London. It has attacked in Spain. It has attacked in the Middle East, in Asia - and in America. Fighting Iraqis will not change this one bit.

Senator Chuck Hagel, a decorated Vietnam War veteran, said "there is a parallel emerging" between Iraq and Vietnam:

"The longer we stay in Iraq, the more similarities will start to develop, meaning essentially that we are getting more and more bogged down, taking more and more casualties, more and more heated dissension and debate in the United States."

Hagel also said:

"We should start figuring out how we get out of there. I think our involvement there has destabilized the Middle East. And the longer we stay there, I think the further destabilization will occur."

Unfortunately, Democratic officeholders are being timid. Few of them are talking about Iraq. Senator Russ Feingold is the exception:

"But it's almost as if talking about completing the mission in Iraq has become 'taboo.' It's time for senators and Members of Congress, especially those from my own party, to be less timid while this Administration neglects urgent national security priorities in favor of staying a flawed policy course in Iraq. We need to refocus on fighting and defeating the terrorist network that attacked this country on September 11, 2001, and that means placing our Iraq policy in the context of a global effort, rather than letting it dominate our security strategy and drain vital security resources for an unlimited amount of time."

Feingold says we need to announce a target date of the end of next year for exiting Iraq. Sounds reasonable to me. The Iraqis are well on their way to a democracy: majority wins. Ali Debagh, a Shiite constitutional committee member, said this about their discussion of federalism with the Sunnis:

"We gave a choice -- whoever doesn't want federalism can opt not to practice it."

The Shiites gave the same kind of choice with reference to theocracy. The constitution will be based on Islamic law because this is what the majority wants.

Cindy Sheehan has started something. It's obvious to more people today that the Iraq war is a failure. Our meddling to produce a democracy has succeeded in bringing about a theocracy. It's time to listen to leaders like Hagel and Feingold and get out of Iraq. Feingold's year and a half to prepare for withdrawal seems about right. Let's exit.

Posted by Paul Siegel at August 22, 2005 6:05 PM