18 Sep. 2007

Can We Get Our Heads Around The Concept Of Withdrawal, Please?

Cementing its new status as a Murdoch rag, the WSJ ridiculously claims that the expulsion from Iraq of mercenary forces like Blackwater might actually slow down the US military withdrawal.

Now, never mind the fact that neither of those things are actually likely to happen (sigh). The WSJ's logic is that private mercenaries will need to fill the security void left by departing US soldiers, thus ensuring the safety of "the tens of thousands of nonmilitary U.S. personnel working in Iraq". The underlying assumption is that US companies should still be free to exploit Iraq even after US military forces are gone. And that's just ridiculous.

Let me spell it out: US soldiers out. US mercenaries out. US commercial parasites out.

Ah, but what about the foreign diplomats, I hear you ask? Surely we have to leave someone to guard our embassies and ambassadors and consuls, and their residences and their limousines and their gardeners and their chefs and their maids? Even Kevin Rudd is only promising to withdraw "combat troops", right?

As the bishop said to the actress: "Don't worry, I'll withdraw in a timely fashion. Alas, there could be some residual deposits."

When the US withdrew its forces from Vietnam, did they leave a small contingent guarding the embassy in Saigon? I don't think so.