U.S. Congressmen have been on the radio saying we just cannot give the Iraqis a timetable by which we plan to withdraw from Iraq, because it would embolden the insurgents. Duh… Did it ever occur to these deep thinkers in Congress that torturing Iraqis emboldens the insurgents? Did it ever occur to these Congressmen that detaining Iraqis by the tens of thousands, while breaking in their doors in the middle of the night and pointing rifles in the faces of frightened women and babies might embolden insurgents? Did it ever occur to our esteemed representatives in Washington that poisoning Iraq with depleted uranium, laying waste to Fallujah and other cities, bombing urban targets from the air with 500 pound bombs to kill individual humans (even combatants), destroying the country’s infrastructure, bringing in thousands of laborers from around the world to work while Iraqis remain unemployed except in dangerous policing jobs, lighting up civilian vehicles with machine gun fire, segregating the alleged "democratic" government from the people by a secure American-dominated "Green Zone", ghost-writing a constitution, defining "victory" as the killing of all the remaining complaining victims of occupation, and similar acts would embolden the insurgents?
But what about setting a timetable to leave? Certainly the desire for Americans to leave is the single uniting concept for all Iraqis of all religions or ethnic groups (except for the Iraqis who derive power from the American occupation). We have a very recent case history to show that setting a timetable for withdrawal does not ruin the process, but facilitates it.
The Israelis announced many months ago that they would withdraw from Gaza. The Israelis have victimized the Palestinians in Gaza and elsewhere, creating an intifada, which is the Palestinian insurgency, which is fundamentally parallel to the Iraqi insurgency against U.S. occupation of Iraq. Israel decided to withdraw from Gaza, just as ultimately the U.S. will decide to withdraw from Iraq. The Israelis set a timetable and they left. The Americans will ultimately set a timetable and they will leave. You cannot sneak a huge military presence out of Iraq without setting a timetable ultimately. A timetable must be set and it will be set, but for now the politicians are playing games because they still have not fixed in their own minds the reality that the American occupation of Iraq must end. Once reality bites, a timetable will be set, and it will produce a result, just as the Israeli timetable worked and was facilitated.
All of this will be traumatic for many Americans, just as the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza traumatized Israel. It is hard for occupiers to voluntarily give up stolen land. It just is. It is hard for Americans and their government to admit failure. But it will happen because it must happen. The price of occupation will become unbearable. Why? Because the occupied, the victims, resist the occupation until the cost becomes unbearable to the occupier.
The American government and military invaded Iraq with total disdain for the Iraqi people and total insensitivity to their suffering, which America has caused for years now. All the Iraqis have done is share the pain with their "hosts". The occupation will ultimately end and it will end because a timetable was set. The myths and lies of withdrawal will be exposed and set aside as surely as the Euphrates River flows through that once enchanted land.