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No easy way out

Reader comment on item: Let Iraqis run Iraq

Submitted by Daniel Too (United States), Oct 18, 2003 at 05:48

Dear Mr. Pipes,

I usually agree with your work, and we've met twice, at two of your speeches (It's OK if you don't remember...)

In your article above ("Let Iraqis run Iraq", 15 Oct 03), however, it seems that you are arguing for unilateral withdrawal by the US in Iraq, by Israel in the West Bank (a.k.a. Judea and Samaria), by Russia in Chechnya, and by India in Kashmir. Understandably, all people should bear as much of the burden and responsibility for running their own country as possible, but-- to paraphrase Einstein-- not moreso. Considering the terrorism and other national interests of the US, Israel, Russia, and India in the respective regions, is it reasonable just to "stand back" while things simmer, then go in full force when needed, as the US has now done twice in a dozen years, in Iraq alone? Wouldn't it be preferable to be able to prevent situations from going so wrong in the first place?

To prevent the situations that lead to terrorism and related problems, it will take active involvement. Rather than abandoning Iraq, the West Bank, Chechnya, and Kashmir, why not use more of the model of US assistance in Germany and Japan after World War II? Both Germany and Japan were devastated in WWII, yet-- with ample assistance afterward-- they rapidly became the world's #2 and #3 strongest economies, trailing only the United States itself, and rather good US allies and partners at that.

As you have said yourself, World War II was about destroying fascism, not about destroying Germany and Japan. Both Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan were rebuilt and restructured, though it took time and effort. Hopefully Iraq and Afghanistan, and elsewhere as needed, now will be as well.


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