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General William Odom: Want stability in the Middle East? Get out of Iraq!

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RedEarth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-01-05 04:28 PM
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General William Odom: Want stability in the Middle East? Get out of Iraq!
Edited on Thu Dec-01-05 04:31 PM by RedEarth
As I have watched the reactions to my earlier piece on, "Whats wrong with cutting and running?, I recognize that one critical point does not come through to many readers. The problem may stem from the words "cut and run" in the title. In the minds of some, that seems to imply leaving the region for good. My argument is fundamentally different.

I believe that stabilizing the region from the Eastern Mediterranean to Afghanistan is very much an American interest, one we share with all our allies as well as with several other countries, especially, China, Russia, and India.

The Global Balkans

Former national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski has called this region the "global Balkans," a name that recalls the role of the European Balkans during two or three decades leading up to the outbreak of World War I. By themselves the Balkan countries were not all that important. Yet several great powers, especially Russia and Austria, were jockeying for strategic advantages there as they anticipated the collapse of the Ottoman Empire and competition for control of the straits leading from the Black Sea into the Mediterranean. Britain and France wanted neither Russia nor Austria to dominate; and Germany, although uninterested in the Balkans, was allied to Austria. From a strategic viewpoint, the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand in Sarajevo in 1914 was unimportant, but it set in motion actions that soon brought all of the major powers in Europe to war. Four empires collapsed, and the doors were opened to the Communists in Russia and the Nazis in Germany as a result. Brzezinski's point today is that the Middle East and Southwest Asia have precisely that kind of potential for catalyzing wars among the major powers of the world today, although nothing in the region objectively merits such wars.

Iraq as a Dead End Street

Two areas of inquiry follow naturally from this background:

First, how could we induce our allies to join us in Iraq now? Why should they now put troops in Iraq and suffer the pain with us? Could we seriously expect them to do so?

Second, is remaining in Iraq the best strategy for a coalition of major states to stabilize the region? Would a large NATO coalition of forces plus some from India, Japanese, and China enjoy more success?
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ixion Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-01-05 04:46 PM
Response to Original message
1. the problem is that rational thought is lost on the neocons
As soon as you 'contradict' chimpenator, their eyes just glaze over with hatred and fear.

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