Ed Koch Is Bailing OutJuly 18, 2007
The former mayor of New York City, Ed Koch, has defended Bush’s Iraq war policy for as long as I can remember, but today he delivers this op-ed: I’m Done Defending the Iraq Policy
I’m bailing out.
I put that there just so it was clear that my title for this post wasn’t spin. Koch rattles off a whole host of reasons why he’s had a change of heart, but I’ll skip to the part that really got my attention:
I believe we can be out of Iraq in a few months if we want to leave, departing by way of Turkey in the north and via Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Jordan in the south and west. We should leave to the Iraqi army the supplies and materials they will need to protect themselves and take all else with us, after first arming the Kurds. Common decency requires that we take with us those Iraqi civilians who helped us and would be in danger when we left.
We should prepare for the battles that will take place on American soil by the Islamic forces of terror who are engaged in a war that will be waged by them against Western civilization for at least the next 30 years. They must be defeated for if, God forbid, they defeat us they will put us, the infidels, to the sword. They refer to Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, and other Muslims they disagree with religiously as infidels.
I guess my warblogger pals would call this the “cut, run and pray” strategy. Oh, and it would be nice if we’d just drop some weapons off on our way out (probably mid-stride) too. I’m not quite sure what “put us to the sword” means. It seems to imply that Osama has an army of millions waiting to invade and start forced conversions to Islam. I’m not sure about that one, although a lot can change in 30 years I suppose. It certainly doesn’t sound like a positive outcome.
I’m not sure if Mr. Koch has a lot of influence, but as more and more politicians “bail” on the Bush policy, the question on this withdrawal begins to lean towards “when” rather than “if”. And after watching the Senate debate last night (I managed to make it to about 4AM), I couldn’t help but think that all they’re doing is prolonging the inevitable. The writing is on the wall. I have to agree with the warblogger crowd on one thing, and it’s that this scenario would leave us feeling humiliated and defeated, and al Qaeda feeling emboldened. Whether that feeling is superficial or has tangible consequences is a matter of debate. Consider the mounting evidence that our presence there is only making matters worse in the big picture, however, and it paints a picture of a bad choice being the best choice.
This is why I still believe that best way out of this is for the Iraqis to ask us to depart, either with a vote within their parliament or, as I stated a few posts down, from the general population. If we’re going to leave, leaving this way has got to be more desirable, as it would address many of the concerns people would have about the morning after. It certainly wouldn’t be perfect, but considering the other possibilities it appears to be the preferred way. On top of that, it might just be the right thing to do.