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How to get out of Iraq

The "surge" in Iraq is clearly not happening let alone working - well, not positively that is. Whilst things might have quietened down a tad in Baghdad outside the city the carnage continues anabated. Meanwhile, the delusionists [are they anything else] are saying that things have improved and to be patient. For what? More deaths and destruction?

Juan Cole is not only a professor of Middle Eastern and South Asian history at the University of Michigan, but the author of Sacred Space and Holy War (IB Tauris), and also a well known blogger with a huge following.

Writing in The Nation Cole puts forward a plan for ending the Iraq debacle:

"Bush's ineptitude has made a regional proxy war a real possibility, so the question is how to avoid it. One Saudi official admitted that if the United States withdrew and Iraq's Sunnis seemed in danger, Riyadh would likely intervene. Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul has threatened to invade if Iraq's Kurds declare independence. And Iran would surely try to rescue Iraqi Shiites if they seemed on the verge of being massacred.

But Bush is profoundly in error to think that continued US military occupation can forestall further warfare. Sunni Arabs perceive the Americans to have tortured them, destroyed several of their cities and to be keeping them under siege at the behest of the joint Shiite-Kurdish government of Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki. American missteps have steadily driven more and more Sunnis to violence and the support of violence. The Pentagon's own polling shows that between 2003 and 2006 the percentage of Sunni Arabs who thought attacking US troops was legitimate grew from 14 to more than 70."

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