by Winston Smith, Sun Aug 21, 2005 at 06:55:18 PM EDT
We need to advocate an Iraqi referendum - let the Iraqi people decide if the US should stay in Iraq. The scales are now tipping decisively against the war, but those politicians who support withdrawing our military are still open to charges of "not supporting our troops" or "cutting and running" and "turning Iraq over to the terrorists."
We need a strong argument which will persuade moderates and casual Bush supporters, who are starting to turn against him, to reconsider their support. And using Bush's own hypocrisy against him makes me smile.
We must frame the debate: "We all agree that Saddam was a vicious tyrant, and we all want Iraq to become a peaceful stable democracy. But we disagree on whether a continued US military presence is helpful or damaging to that goal. We went to Iraq to bring democracy, now we must ask the Iraqis what they want. If they want us to stay, it will shut down the anti-war movement and Bush will be strengthened as a leader. If they want us to leave, then we have no choice.. that is what democracy is about: letting the people of a nation determine their future."
The neoconservatives who run this country would never allow this referendum to take place. It will put them on the defensive. "Why won't you allow the Iraqi people to vote, didn't we go to Iraq to bring democracy?" It will allow the Bush moderates who are getting sick of the war to question Bush and the war without being accused of being unpatriotic.
And it protects the politicians who want an end to the war. It is inevitable that the situation in Iraq gets worse. If we pull out under public pressure and Iraq becomes a fundamentalist terrorist haven, the neocons will forever blame the US antiwar movement, who pulled out of Iraq on a timeline. But if we pull out because the Iraqis ask us to, then it is not a domestic political issue. We will not have "fed Iraq to the terrorists," but rather, respected their freedom.
If we make this our talking point, and we able to frame this debate on a national level, we can't be accused of not supporting the troops, we seize the freedom and democracy platform, and we expose Bush for the lying, greedy, warmongering hypocrite that he so obviously is.
Do any Iraqis post on this site? I never see anyone from Baghdad telling us their opinions.