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FGF Op-Ed
THE CONFEDERATE LAWYER
January 20, 2020

Leaving Iraq

by Charles G. Mills
Fitzgerald Griffin Foundation

Front Royal, Virginia — The Iraqi parliament has asked for the removal of all American troops from Iraq. This is a great opportunity for America.

We do keep some Marines in all our embassies, but the withdrawal of almost all our troops from Iraq is in the best interest of America.

The United States has responded by suggesting immediate talks about the future of American troops in Iraq. This is not a bad response, but an even better response would be to suggest talks about the departure of our troops. Our ideal response would be, “What an excellent idea. Let us start immediate talks about carrying it out.”

It does not matter whether forty percent of Iraqis want our troops there or sixty percent want them there. Keeping them there is not in the interest of America.

Of course, such an idea is not an absolute. We do keep some Marines in all our embassies, but the withdrawal of almost all our troops from Iraq is in the best interest of America. Starting the Second Iraq War was, all in all, a bad idea. Once that war was over, keeping troops there indefinitely was a complete disaster. It does not matter whether forty percent of Iraqis want our troops there or sixty percent want them there. Keeping them there is not in the interest of America.

Officially, our troops are only there to train the Iraqi army. This idea has a long history of failure.

Officially, our troops are only there to train the Iraqi army. This idea has a long history of failure. The United States Army in Vietnam was there to train and advise the Vietnamese Army for decades as it gradually started shooting back at the Viet Cong more and more. Far, far too many American soldiers have been killed in Afghanistan by people we thought we were training. Throughout the world we find it hard to tell friend from foe in the countries full of American troops. Even in Germany we had trouble telling friends from East German spies.

The purpose of armies is to kill people and break things. The use of an army for something else is to use something for something it was not created for. This has to lead to bad things.

Ever since the disastrous policies of Woodrow Wilson, there has been a tendency to think America has a real interest in making the whole world democratic. This does not work.

Furthermore there is a basic mistake in our deployments throughout the world, except in a few places, like the Pacific or the Americas, where the United States has a genuine interest in defending ourselves. Ever since the disastrous policies of Woodrow Wilson, there has been a tendency to think America has a real interest in making the whole world democratic. This does not work. Recently the case of Carlos Ghosn has reminded us that the penal and judicial systems of “democratic” Japan are little advanced from the days of Tojo and the show trials of American pilots shot down in Japan.

We must make it clear to Iraq that we have no interest in keeping troops where they are not welcome or even where their welcome is uncertain and that we are going to take them up on their request that we leave.

Iraq has given us an opportunity to leave gracefully and as friends and we should insist on taking them up on it.

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Copyright @ 2020 by the Fitzgerald Griffin Foundation. All rights reserved. This article may be reprinted if credit is given to Charles G. Mills and fgfBooks.com.

Charles G. Mills, author of The Confederate Lawyer, is the Judge Advocate Emeritus (general counsel) for the New York State American Legion. As a New York lawyer, he has been arguing cases for fifty years in federal courts and in all levels of the New York courts.

The original of John Trumbull’s painting, “Declaration of Independence,” hangs in the United States Capitol rotunda. The true-to-life oil painting, which is pictured on the back of the $2 bill, measures 12 by18 feet. Trumbull wished to include all 56 signers but painted just 42 as he was unable to find a likeness for 14 of them.

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