How Do You Get Out of a War?

Today hundreds of Twin Cities students skipped class to protest the war in Iraq. I heard the story on MPR (oddly enough I couldn’t find the story on the Star Trib or the Pioneer Press web sites) and I was struck by what the students were calling for. They wanted immediate troop withdrawal, war funding to go to education and army recruiters out of high schools (for whatever reason those rationales are not articulated clearly in the online article, though they were in the report I heard).

Even if you’re completely against the war, I don’t get what immediate troop withdrawal accomplishes. So we completely pull out of Iraq–what’s left? The country would plunge into civil war and it’d be a terrorist fun zone. That doesn’t sound like a way to end violence and death. While I’m not happy about the mess we’ve made in Iraq, I think we do have a responsibility to set it right. Being in Iraq in the first place may not be good, but leaving now would be even worse.

I applaud these students for protesting. That’s what makes this country great (try that in Pakistan right now). But I just don’t see the logic of their demands. Once you’ve made a mess you can’t just walk away and let someone else clean it up. That’s not right. Even Lexi knows that (sometimes).

It’s a lot easier to start a war than it is to end one. It’s also a lot easier to protest a problem than it is to figure out how to fix it. (Blogging and protesting are a lot a like that way.)

One thought on “How Do You Get Out of a War?”

  1. “Immediate” troop withdrawal would be problematic, certainly. But I do believe there’s a “tipping point,” where staying in Iraq will actually do more damage (primarily to the government’s ability to function on its own) than it does good.

    Barack Obama has put forward a plan that would have our troops out within 18 months, and I support that plan. It’s not “immediate,” but it’s something.

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