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Give the Iraqi people a chance to decide

Reader comment on item: Hugging Iraq's Leaders

Submitted by Jason (United States), May 3, 2006 at 10:25

There is a simple solution to the issue of having US troops in Iraq: let the Iraqi people vote on the issue. This is the ultimate win-win situation for the US, and would negate this whole issue of how the new Iraqi government is perceived.

If the Iraqi people vote for the US troops to stay, all further criticism of the Iraqi government being too close to the US, or being a Western puppet, is moot. The people will have spoken and said that they don't object to the relationship between the Iraqi government and the US.

If the Iraqi people vote for the US troops to leave, then we have the perfect route out. It will take three to six months to draw down and withdraw our troops while effectively turning control over to the Iraqi's. In leaving under these circumstances, we will have shown the world that bombs and bullets mean nothing to us: only ballots count. This would also give a boost to the new government by saying that the people have enough faith in it to go it alone, so violent opposition had better stop quickly (the Iraqi government would also have a much freer hand in dealing with the terrorists than they do right now).

In lieu of such a vote, Dr. Pipes is correct. The US needs to place some distance between itself and the Iraqis. The US needs to openly discuss the differences between what we would like, and what the Iraqs are doing. The administration needs to work agressively to highlight the independence of the Iraqi government.

However, just because we have differences of opinion with them doesn't mean we abandon them. We actually have far more serious differences of opinion with the Brits, Germans, and French than we do with the Iraqis. Even so, if any of those three were attacked, we would immediately come to their aid (well at least the Brits and Germans anyway).

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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