Ending the War: Call to Vote
Perhaps, the answer
A proposal to have
the people of Iraq vote on whether or not the United States should
continue to provide military support for the purpose of providing
security and assistance to the Iraqi police and military.
One of the original
purposes of the war was to install a democracy in Iraq that would
allow the Iraqi people to have a voice in self-determination of
their affairs. Now, after four years, why not allow them the
opportunity to exercise their democracy to decide this important
The winners and the
government of Iraq, and their supporters, will have the
opportunity to see how democracy works first hand. If the
government has done a good job, and is the best alternative, the
people will vote to continue the policies that they feel are best
for the country. If the government has not represented the will
of the people, then a change will occur. This is a principle of
The opposition to
the current government, and their supporters, will, also, have a
choice. There is not a need to engage in violence if the simple
act of voting can change any problems that are at issue. Even if
he vote results favor the continuation of American presence, at
least this decision was made by the Iraqi majority. A second
principle of democracy is political pluralism, and the acceptance
of diversity of opinion.
The suicide bombers
are given a difficult decision in that they must decide whether to
vote or blow themselves up (thereby losing their vote). Every
young bomber should have the decision on whether their death will
be meaningful in an environment where voting will accomplish their
goals better than death.
The people of Iran,
and other Muslim countries of similar political leanings, are
placed in the difficult position of having to acknowledge
democracy at its best and working in the neighborhood. What
person in Iran will not say that they would like to have the right
of self determination rather than the current form of government?
No matter what side they were on before, few would argue that they
people of Iraq are the one’s best suited to make the decision.
Allies in the Middle
East such as Saudi Arabia that have opposed aspects of the Iraqi
invasion will be given a lesson in how democracy respects the will
of the people. Surely, they would have no opposition and would
fully support the continuation of American troops if the Iraqis
ask for assistance by way of the vote. Perhaps, at that point,
the Saudi government and others in the region would step up to
Allies, such as
France, and others, that have opposed aspects of the Iraqi
invasion, would have no opposition to this solution to the
crisis. Their opposition based on “might,” or “imperialism,”
would likely dissipate if he people of Iraq controlled their own
In the United
States, the people would be willing to accept the decision either
way. If the people of Iraq are asking, and genuinely wish, our
help, most would be willing to give any assistance needed. If the
people of Iraq don’t want our help, then we will leave.
The White House has
a huge investment in this problem. But, this only solution that
offers an “honorable peace.” The only way for George Bush to save
his “legacy” is to adopt, and likely claim this idea as his own.
Osama bin Laden is
likely sitting in a cave, somewhere, and screaming for this not to
happen. Lost will be a whole generation of terrorists in the
making that will decide, instead, to organize votes rather than
blow up buildings.