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Human beings will be happier - not when they cure cancer or get to Mars or eliminate racial prejudice or flush Lake Erie but when they find ways to inhabit primitive communities again. That's my utopia.
~Kurt Vonnegut
Saturday, December 10, 2005

Kucinich wants Iraqi vote on withdrawal

From time to time, we hear various politicians refer to Iraq as "sovereign," a word that generally is taken to mean that the people of Iraq control their own political process. But recent events suggest that the sovereignty is nominal:
Kucinich wants Iraqi vote on withdrawal

Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, wants the Iraqis to decide whether the United States military should be withdrawn from Iraq.

"Congressman Kucinich believes that Iraq, as a free nation and a blossoming democracy, should have the right of self determination," said his spokesman Doug Gordon.

Kucinich is working on a resolution to be introduced on the floor of Congress "soon" that would make it the sense of Congress that the United States would support an Iraqi referendum on the future of the U.S. occupation of the country.

Kucinich "strongly believes that the Iraqi people cannot fully be free until decision made about their future are made in Baghdad and not Washington," said Gordon.

Kucinich waged an unsuccessful campaign for the presidency in 2004, in part based on his opposition to the war.

According to recent polls, some 80 percent of Iraqis oppose the U.S. occupation. Officially the U.S. military is in Iraq at the invitation of Iraq's interim government.

A February poll conducted by the U.S. military in urban areas found that 71 percent of Iraqis oppose the presence of coalition forces in Iraq.

A January 2005 poll conducted by Abu Dhabi TV/Zogby International showed that 82 percent of Sunni Arabs and 69 percent of Shiite Arabs favor the withdrawal of U.S. troops either immediately or once an elected government is in place.

- United Press International
We also hear a lot about how there are so many different factions in Iraq, that nobody can agree on anything. Yet, the poll indicates that they do agree on one thing: they want us out. Many people in the USA believe that if US troops left now, the situation in Iraq would erupt into chaos. In fact, though, nobody knows what would happen. The authors of this blog* do not pretend to know what would happen. They do, however, think people should stop presenting arguments in the form of "if we do X, then Y will happen," when it is perfectly obvious to everyone that nobody really knows what would happen. Arguments like that aren't going to convince anyone of anything.

We do not know what would happen, but we do know that the impressions conveyed in the media, as fed to the media by the politicians in the USA, are inaccurate. So we probably should not base any major decisions on those impressions. Instead, we should look to whatever reliable, replicable observations are available.

Repeated polls in Iraq, by different organizations, show the same results: they want us out. If the majority of the Iraqi people want the US out, then perhaps they do not think that the country will fall apart if the troops leave. And maybe the citizens of Iraqi are in a better position than we are, to guess about the future of their own country.

It would seem that if we have to make a major decision based upon a guess, we should go with the guess made by the people who are in the best position to do so. That would not be anyone here in the USA.

* Actually, we can't check with Andy, since he is on vacation. With luck, he's connected with that woman in Traverse City and is out on the ski slopes. Or something.
posted by : Joseph j7uy5 | link | | |


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