In 2001, I was one of the many hundreds of thousands who took to the streets in London to protest against the invasion of Iraq. I couldn’t see the sense in it now and I can’t see the sense in it today. I long for the whole sorry mess to be over, but I don’t believe that the withdrawal of troops – considering the instability that has been created in Iraq – is the answer at this moment in time.
Iraq is in a state right now… and it’s up to America to stay in there and sort it out (since they started it!). The Republicans are making the most sense to me on this issue at the moment. Tensions are high in Iraq right now and General Petraeus’ reluctance to stick to a timetable for the withdrawal of troops as well as his call today for a 45 day halt on the withdrawal of troops seems to me to be the responsible – and right – thing to do.
Hillary Clinton insists that “…it’s time to begin an orderly process of withdrawing our troops.” She wants a withdrawal of all troops within 60 days should she be elected as president. To me this is just wrong wrong wrong! If you (America) created the mess, it’s only right that you help clear it up! Undoubtedly there should be an exit strategy but strategies need to be adjusted and refined from time to time if they are to be effective.
I actually tend to agree with John McCain’s policy on this – troops must be kept in Iraq for as long as it takes to help re-build the country and make it stable again. There is actually no time scale on that. People can estimate and project, but as we’ve seen so far, those timescales have had little to do with reality.
Barack Obama’s position is some kind of middle ground, but I don’t think he can just say that he will withdraw 1 or 2 troops per month over 16 months without prior knowledge of what will be going on at the time. What if Iraq is in even greater crisis by then?
I don’t think General Petraeus wants to keep troops in Iraq, but he has to right now because of the present situation… and that is sensible and right. I’m with the Republicans on this one.