There seems to be a growing conscientious that the time for bringing home the troops has come—I would suppose then it is reasonable to speculate as to what we will see after this is a fact.
The first possibility is that upon the exit of our troops the people of Iraq will suddenly develop an irresistible desire to participate in a representive democracy and all will live happily ever after—unless, of course, they are unfortunately struck by flying pigs.
Much more likely is that Iraq, never a true nation state in the first place, will fragment into its Kurd, Sunni, and Shiite components—Kurds to the North, Sunni in the middle, and Shiites in the South. This will not occur peacefully. Each faction will be trying to grab as much territory as possible, they are about equally matched, they despise each other, very likely millions—repeat, millions will die. In the process the Persian Gulf—with its population of Sunni’s and Shiite’s will exist in an utter maelstrom—count on $100 a barrel oil, plan to pay on the high side of $5.00 a gallon for your gasoline, and twice as much to heat your house as you are now paying.
Still worse would be the very real possibility that Saudi Arabia and Iran will come to the aid of the Sunni and Shiites respectively. Now imagine $10.00 a gallon gasoline and heating bills so high that we actually see Americans in our Northern tier freezing to death.
The one positive I can think of is that the considerable wealth of the region is no longer at the disposal of a despot bent on owning atomic weapons—unless, of course, you count Iran. Once in the hands of Fundamentalist Muslims where do you suppose atomic weapons will end up? A very usable atomic weapon can fit in a brief case—about two million people are annually crossing our border illegally. How big a task will getting such weapons into the U.S. be for those who orchestrated 9/11?
Of course we could always finish what we started—the risk of Saddam was more than real. Indeed, removing him based solely on the need to improve the rights of women could be justified—his own people hanged him. Very probably the correct thing to do is a civilized partitioning. If an equitable solution as to the distribution of oil revenues (such as we have in Alaska) can be reached this could be accomplished in about twenty years. On the other hand you might prefer paying $10.00 at the pump and enjoying seeing America—and hence George Bush get a black eye.
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