Secondly, the author?s reference to the ?development of a free Iraqi government? displays a willful naivet? difficult to find outside of the White House. The Iraqi Constitution currently does not guarantee equal rights to women or minorities. Furthermore, Shiite militias, in collaboration with Iraqi security forces, have detained, tortured and executed thousands of Sunni civilians and religious figures; actions all too familiar to Saddam?s old regime.
Domestically, the author?s discussion of the immediate withdrawal amendment just voted on in the House is terribly misleading. The resolution that the author refers to was not Murtha?s, but rather a construction of the Republicans, closed off to amendments and designed to stifle debate by issuing an unappealing and politically untenable bill. There are far more than three representatives in the House who favor an immediate withdrawal, and this bill was not reflective of such sentiment.
The author?s claim that it is ?not the time to give up on democracy in the Middle East,? seems a bit ridiculous considering our relations in the region. Egypt, one of our closest allies, is a corrupt dictatorship, and Saudi Arabia, another close ally, is among the most oppressive societies in the world, where dissidents are jailed (at the least) and public executions are commonplace. For us to actively support democracy in the region would be a rather strong reversal in policy.