Foreign Policy

American Colonel Says It's Time for U.S. to Leave Iraq

| by Code Pink

In an “unusually blunt” memo, senior American military adviser in Baghdad Col. Timothy R. Reese concluded that it is time “for the U.S. to declare victory and go home,” even though Iraq faces some problems including corruption, poor management and the inability to resist Shiite political pressure.

In the memo, which some military officials say was not intended to be revealed to a large audience, Reese argues that extending the American military presence beyond August 2010, will do little to improve the Iraqis’ military performance while fueling growing resentment of Americans.

According to the Times, this memo (and other recent statements calling for an acceleration of withdrawal) Still, the memo “opens a rare window into a debate among American military officers about how active the American role should be in Iraq and for how long.”

This is frustrating, if not welcome news, for millions of Americans involved in the peace movment, who’ve marched in the street, signed petitions, called Congress, worn “Boot Bush” buttons and more.

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They’ve called for an end to the war for six years, citing the same reasons at Reese and the common, basic idea that violence begets more violence, further alienates Iraqis and is not a productive strategy to effect change worldwide — unlike diplomacy (imagine if we all solved all problems with guns, bombs and occupation?).

The U.S. military destroyed Iraqi infrastructure, killed thousands of innocent civilians and alienated most of the world with its effort, not to mention Iraqis. Troops must be withdrawn now so Iraq can stand on its feet. The same must happen in Afghanistan, as military presence there only helps to further destabilize it.