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other essays:      Ending the War: Call To Vote

The Parallel Universe

Solving the Auto Companies Problem




Ending the War:  Call to Vote


Perhaps, the answer is simple.

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 issue.


The winners and the losers:

The current 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 democracy.

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 help.

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 fate.

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.