ALVIN S. SIMPLETON SAYS GET THE HELL OUT

In recent months, the Iraqis have engaged in the cornerstone of democracy, voting. Yet, they are still struggling to establish a stable, functioning government. The absence of such a government has fueled the bombings and shootings by militants that have left hundreds dead.

Because of the violence, U. S. Commanders have delayed for a month the first wave of troops scheduled to be withdrawn and are thinking of slowing the pace of the withdrawal. Of course, as usual, the US troops are supposed to help fight the violence and stabilize the country.

There is just one thing wrong with this kind of thinking. The Iraqis must provide for their own security. It doesn’t matter when the U. S. Troops leave, if the Iraqis don’t form a functioning government that can protect the citizens, the result will be violence. The country will not be stable until either a strong man arises and puts down all competition, or a strong group arises and puts down all competition.

Think about this: the Shiites are still angry at the Sunnis for what they did to them under Saddam’s rule. What they probably have on their minds is vengeance. And let’s not forget the Kurds who want autonomy for their region.

Unless we are willing to have an open end commitment, we must pull out now.

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