Wednesday, 7 March 2007

Should the coalition withdraw from Iraq?

I thought I had the answer to that one.

We never had an excuse to invade Iraq in the first place, so we shouldn't stay there a second longer. That's obvious. Bring our boys home!

But now I'm not so sure. If you walk into someone's house, trash everything in sight, blast their doors and windows wide open, restart some old family feuds, burn their money and grocery supplies, you can't suddenly say, "Oops, sorry, wrong house," and leave.

Who's going to pay for the damage? Who's responsible for the safety and running of the household after you leave? Can you just dust your hands and walk off? Or do you have responsibility for ensuring that everything is put back together the way it was (well, almost) before you go?

To put it very mildly, George Bush, Tony Blair and John Howard have led their countries down a morally suspect path. We (as citizens of these countries) will be compounding their offence if we blindly insist on a withdrawal from Iraq. We were wrong to go in, but now that we've ended up totally destabilising that country, we can't just walk away and let it completely collapse. It's our moral responsibility now to stay as long as necessary and set things right.

Call it the morality of sin, if you're religiously inclined. If you get your girlfriend pregnant, you stand by her. You don't run away and leave her to face the consequences alone.

So I'm surprised to see my own position on this issue -- Send more troops to Iraq!
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