Saturday, April 12, 2008

It's Occupation, Not War

Antiwar, April 12, 2008

by Charley Reese

The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan ended some years ago. In Iraq, the war ended with the fall of Saddam Hussein's government; in Afghanistan, with the fall of the Taliban government. What's been happening since is occupation and resistance to occupation.

It's always helpful to call things by the right name. One of the ways using the wrong word can trip us is illustrated by John McCain's campaign theme. We have to win the war in Iraq, he keeps saying. Ending a war implies either winning or losing. No such baggage is attached to an occupation. You can end an occupation without either winning or losing. You just withdraw your troops.

The fact that what is going on in Iraq is an occupation is proven by the nature of the conflicts. They are between factions of Iraqis. Our guys are caught in the crossfire or killed by Iraqis who oppose our presence. There are no large-scale attacks directed against us.

Those who want to continue the occupation paint a horrific picture of what they claim will happen if we withdraw – a massive civil war, genocide or a regional war. There is no hard evidence to support any of those suppositions. But even if they happen, they need not concern us. Lots of factions in different parts of the world decide to kill each other from time to time, and we don't interfere. As long as there are no Americans to get caught in the crossfire, let the Iraqis have their civil war if that's what they want.

Continued . . .

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