Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

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“Pull out early” method doesn’t work

“The poor of the world stand at the gates of comfortable mansions occupied by each and every queen or president or prime minister privileged to attend this unique meeting. The questions these billions are asking is: what are you doing, you in whom we have placed our trust, what are you doing to end the deliberate and savage violence against us that, everyday, sentences many of us to a degrading and unnecessary death!”

– South African President Thabo Mbeki, Sept. 7, 2000, at the UN Millennium Summit

The people of Iraq are asking the same question.

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In 1989, a U.S.-supported war helped oust the Soviet Army from its occupation of Afghanistan. This war reduced the country to rubble, leaving the masses of people in Afghanistan in a very unfortunate state. Rather than sticking around to help rebuild the country, the United States quickly withdrew its support and aid and left the country to its own devices. Ten years later, this choice gave birth to the Taliban, and the rest is history.

Every morning I wake up and there have been more deaths in Iraq. All over campus, the country and the world, people have been chanting “liberate Iraq from the imperialist United States” or something to that effect. People need to realize that being against the war does not mean that now, after the war has “ended,” we should leave the country in chaos.

Pulling out of Iraq early would be a tragedy because the average Iraqi would suffer immensely. An almost certain civil war would ensue, and the hardships the average Iraqi would suffer are far worse than what’s going on now.

The Iraqi people know this. Polls taken in the country consistently show that the majority of the Iraqi people want coalition forces there to help provide security, rebuild the country, and, ultimately, restore it to a functioning nation-state. The Iraqi people, however, are worried the United States will leave early without finishing the job it started.

They are worried Hussein will come back and establish another dictatorship, which would only warrant further suffering and war — the exact aim of Iraqi militants. They are hoping to kill troops, civilians, and human rights workers in an attempt to drive public opinion down, forcing the United States to pull out troops and leave the Iraqis to their own ends. The militants realize that with the United States out of the way they could forcefully retake control of Iraq.

Ironically, the Europeans, once so heavily dependent on the United States’ aid to rebuild their countries after two world wars, are among the loudest critics of its effort to bring stability to the war-torn country. Many European countries have been more than reluctant to give any aid — financially or otherwise. France has even called for an early U.S. pullout. Leave the Iraqis to their own devices and they will be fine, they say.

Magically, all the interests of the various factions, from Saddam supporters to more radical militants, will simply lay down their arms. Miraculously, they will reach a benign agreement on how to run the country.

It amazed me how little the rest of the world came to the aid of Iraq after the U.S.-led invasion. History has shown that if a nation is not rebuilt properly, it will almost certainly result in chaos. It can be argued that Nazi Germany was a result of not rebuilding the country after World War I.

Situations such as these are precisely why the United Nations was created. The goal of the UN is to help developing countries survive by drawing on the resources of the strongest countries in the world.

Whether or not one is against the war is no longer an issue. The issue now is whether or not the world should sit back and let a country devour itself and allow all kinds of atrocities to occur — again. Any premature pullout from Iraq would only end in a massive disaster in which the uninvolved citizens would suffer greatly.

The rest of the world needs to come to the aid of the average Iraqi citizen. Iraq’s coffers should be overflowing with aid money. The streets of Iraq’s neighborhoods should be patrolled by a massive UN force backed by troops from around the world.

Instead, other nations have implicitly told the Iraqi people, “You’re not worth it.”

That is a shameful message. Too many times in history the most powerful countries of the world have sent out that message, only to have it come back at them. There is a desperate need to rebuild Iraq — and to get it right the first time to prevent future suffering, wars, massacres, and fanaticism.

Many will make the argument that “Americans caused the situation, so let them deal with it. Why should my troops suffer because of Bush’s blunder?” Regardless of who caused the problem or whether the war was justified, it is about time the leaders of the world heeded an international problem.

Bobak Roshan ([email protected]) is a senior majoring in international relations and political science.

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