Shall we stay, or shall we go?

I know that Simon Jenkins is the kind of columnist who very often presents his readers with stories that are alarmist in the extreme, but if things are half as bad as he says they are in Iraq, then there would be still some cause for concern. Writing in today’s The Guardian, he seems very certain about one thing, and that is that there is absolutely nothing that Bush or Blair can do to improve the situation in Iraq 

As we approach the beginning of the end in
Iraq there will be much throat-clearing and breast-beating before reality replaces denial. For the moment, denial still rules. In America last week I was shocked at how unaware even anti-war Americans are (like many Britons) of the depth of the predicament in Iraq. They compare it with Vietnam or the Balkans – but it is not the same. It is total anarchy. All sentences beginning, “What we should now do in Iraq … ” are devoid of meaning. We are in no position to do anything. We have no potency; that is the definition of anarchy.

Later on, he pours cold water on the idea that the country will slide into anarchy if the the allies withdraw.

To talk of a collapse into civil war if “we leave”
Iraq is to completely misread the chaos into which that country has descended under our rule. It implies a model of order wholly absent on the ground. Foreign soldiers can stay in their bases, but they will no more “prevent civil war” than they can “import democracy”. They are relevant only as target practice for insurgents and recruiting sergeants for al-Qaida. The occupation of Iraq has passed from brutality to mere idiocy.

Click here for the full piece.

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