December 18, 2011

The last US convoy leaves Iraq.

I was a young child when I saw the last Soviet tank leave Hungary. It left behind a country that was robbed, deprived, repressed, but something to look back to to build itself up on. As rocky as its road has been since then, it is now in a relative stability.

I don’t know what Iraqis feel right now - I suppose the same as Hungarians did then, with the previous darlings of the regime being uncertain of their future whereas some perceiving it as liberation. What the US leaves behind is, at best, a complete mess and at worst a civil war/failed state in the making. Going into other countries is not for the weak-stomached. Even Germans have had a complicated relationship with the US Forces in Germany - having grown up in a university town and intellectual hub that at the same time hosts one of the largest US Army installations in Germany, I have seen both sides of this difficult relationship. Whether it is a good choice to give in to the emotional pressure of wanting to be liked is a different thing. The US cannot be sensibly expected to sacrifice its daughters and sons for indefinite eternities until Iraq eventually develops back into a functioning state. What is regrettable is that the fate of Iraq has, indirectly through the withdrawal issue, become a political punchline in America. If there is anything, anything at all, that is colonialistic in American approaches to Iraq, it is not the ‘occupation’ - it is treating another nation’s fate as a punchline against the current President or his predecessor (or in favour of him, for that matter).

The American withdrawal from Vietnam ultimately delivered an entire nation to the butcher’s knife. It is all our hope here at WarfareNOS that if there will be one difference between these two wars, this will be it.

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