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Not that simple

Reader comment on item: Hugging Iraq's Leaders
in response to reader comment: Give the Iraqi people a chance to decide

Submitted by Pat (United States), May 4, 2006 at 11:59

Even if the Iraqis had a referendum and asked the US to stay, little would change. The people who don't want us there are primarily in the Sunni triangle. Violence there would continue unabated. The Shi'a are divided on the matter, but probably a slim majority of Shi'a plus the overwhelming majority of Kurds would vote for the US to stay. That would be less than sixty percent of the Iraqis voting yes and over forty percent voting no. The forty percent are in areas where the violence is taking place today.

A vote sounds nice and it might mean something to the international press, but it would change very little on the ground. Unless the sixty percent who want us there are willing to fight and crush the insurgents who are their fellow Muslims, nothing will change. Are those who want us there willing to go regularly into the mosques and arrest the imams who promote violence and evict the insurgents and destroy the weapons caches? Are they willing to patrol their own border with Iran and stop the flow of weapons? Are they prepared to turn in acquaintances and family members who blow up police stations? Until the answer is yes, nothing will change.


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