upcoming events

in the next two weeks:

see all upcoming events


Do you have old cell phones or used ink cartridges and want to recycle them? Contact Liz Fossett.

dems poll

Unfortunately our poll cannot be displayed on this page.

georgetown dems blog

read the rest of the blog


Are you a Georgetown Dems alum? We'd love to hear what you're doing now!

subscribe to our mailing list

mailing list archive


For months now, adminstration officials, neoconservative ideologues, and partisan Republican apologists have rolled out a conventional wisdom on Iraq that permeates the debate in the media and in casual conversation. But this conventional wisdom doesn't hold up to scrutiny.

First, these proponents of the American presence in Iraq claim that a precipitous American withdrawal would surely lead to civil war. What these proponents ignore is that Iraq is already heavily embroiled in civil war. Over the last year, an average 903 Iraqis died every month from sectarian violence. In th Lebanese civil war that lasted 15 years, an average 555 Lebanese died a month. Iraq is clearly embroiled in a civil war, as reports of death squads, sectarian militias, and neighborhood segregation abound. Further, these supporters seem to think that America is somehow holding Iraq together, and that a withdrawal of American forces would break the glue binding the Iraqi nation together. There is nothing that American troops are currently doing to keep sectarian violence at bay, since American combat activities are restricted to fighting insurgents and foreign terrorists, not disarming death squads and sectarian militias. And American troops won't disarm those rapidly growing groups because it would only wident he rift among Iraqi groups and provoke a greater anti-American backlash. Withdrawing American forces would have no effect on the intersectarian violence already underway.

Second, proponents argue that an American withdrawal would lead to a Sunni-insurgent terrorist takeover of the Iraqi government, with Musab al-Zarqawi coming to power in Iraq. This is an absolutely ridiculous charge, especially considering that if the administration is to be believed, there are only a few thousand foreign terrorists and Iraqi jihadists fighting, hardly enough to take over a country, where the majority Shi'a have a firm grip on power. In fact, American forces leaving would encourage the Iraqi government to get its act together and would take the wind out of the sails of the Jihadist insurgency.

What American policymakers fail to understand is that American combat operations in Iraq are unnecessary and therefore, an American military presence in Iraq is unnecessary. In fact, it is counterproductive. Our presence inspire jihadist terrorism around the world, provides a recruitment pitch for al-Qaeda, divides Americans, and destroys our international reputation. The President is right that we can still succeed in Iraq; it is not an inevitable failure. But we must leave Iraq in order to have it succeed. Our diplomats and our financial commitment can remain and we should continue to train Iraqi troops out of country, but the cost in American blood is not worth our combat presence if it means that nothing is being accomplished. We must move to strategic redeployment. To learn more about this rational and important policy for Iraq, go here. We should be encouraging every 2008 Presidential candidate and the leaders of our party to adopt this plan.