Politics Baird Op/Ed in Seattle Times
posted by August 24 at 10:48 AMon
I had hoped to run an op/ed against troop withdrawal by Washington U.S. Rep. Brian Baird (D-3, Vancouver) in the Stranger next week. I pitched the idea to his office shortly after the longtime anti-war liberal came out against withdrawal from Iraq last week. I wanted Stranger readers to hear Rep. Baird out.
Well, Baird published an editorial in The Seattle Times today. So, I’m not going to run it in our paper. However, I want to direct our readers to it. Baird makes the point that haunts every liberal who advocates withdrawal:
From a strategic perspective, if we leave now, Iraq is likely to break into even worse sectarian conflict. The extremist regime in Iran will expand its influence in Iraq and elsewhere in the region. Terrorist organizations, the people who cut off the heads of civilians, stone women to death, and preach hatred and intolerance, will be emboldened by our departure. In the ensuing chaos, the courageous Iraqi civilians, soldiers and political leaders who have counted on us will be left to the slaughter. No American who cares about human rights, security and our moral standing in the world can be comfortable letting these things happen.
I think Baird’s main point is suspectóhe argues that the surge appears to be workingóbut even if he’s wrong about that, the paragraph above is still true.
I don’t know what to do about Iraq. I editorialized against the war … repeatedly, and I think it’s the biggest foreign policy blunder in American history. However, I think Baird’s concerns have to be addressed before the U.S. leaves.