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A referendum in Iraq: to stay or not to stay?

October 27, 2006

Hasdai Westbrook has written in the Baltimore Sun that the way forward in Iraq could be as simple as a referendum: should we stay or should we go now?

The idea is brilliant in its simplicity; if the U.S. remains in Iraq truly to promote democracy rather than oil profits, then a referendum is a no brainer. What the outcome would be is also a no-brainer. Surveys suggest Iraqis have long ago lost their zeal for American help. With over 500,000 civilian casualties–that’s no small massacre, worse than Saddam’s havoc; a huge heartbreaking human toll for a failed policy that started a civil war and will take countless others–it’s hard to blame them.

Westbrook, who wrote on Chad and its oil wealth for Guernica in July, admits he’s not the only one suggesting such a referendum these days. But he says he can document that he came to this idea before anyone else? Hmm. Such a simple, clever idea–it’s hard to imagine, but if he says so.

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