Our Democratic warhawk presidential candidates

The Left Coaster does a lengthy and useful comparison of the policies and actions of candidates Clinton, Obama, and Edwards towards Iraq and Iran and finds, despite their rhetoric, no significant difference. All are hawkish.

Progressives need to present an alternative plan to prevent “strategic drift”, they say, suggesting the following.

Suspend training and arming forces in a deadly civil war
Broker a political settlement to Iraq’s conflict
Buffer Iraq’s neighbors from the effects of the conflict

While these appear well-meaning enough, they also imply the US ought and should be an active participant in the process, managing events. Worse, it appears comatose about the cause of “Iraq’s conflict,” which of course was the invasion by the US followed by the noxious constitution shoved down their throats which makes Iraq a puppet of the US, giving them practically no sovereign powers. Why should any of the players there be expected to trust the US to suddenly do the right thing by brokering a fair constitution? More to the point, shouldn’t the task of creating a constitution for Iraq be left to Iraqis, and be free of US interference?

As for buffering the conflict from Iraq’s neighbors, this would have to be done by military, which certainly sounds like the US would remain there. So how does this plan bring the troops home? Answer. It doesn’t.

Implicit in this three-part plan is the assumption of imperialism, that US could and should continue to manage and control events in the Middle East – the same attitude, albeit kinder and gentler, that created the problem in the first place.


  1. Actually I think the cause of the current conflict goes back a bit further, to the seizure of power by a strongman from a minority community and the abuses of power that followed. Of course, that strongman took power with the help and blessings of the U.S., so the fault still lies at our doorstep– it’s just a bit more complex than an arbitrary invasion.

  2. However, the country was stable until the US invaded.

  3. It was stable in the sense of a bomb waiting for a trigger. No trigger, no explosion– but the detructive potential is there, waiting.

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