Huge task before Iraq Study Group

What is a camel, goes the sour joke, but a horse designed by a committee? It may be a useful construct; it may contain all sorts of features valued by the various designers, but the infighting will be horrific and the end product will be… well pretty godawful. At least it will get everyone’s notions of “what to do next” out in the open where the truly stupid and counterproductive can be blasted with the ridicule that they deserve. And some useful plans and goal-markers might yet come out of the Iraq Study Group, in a triumph of hope over experience.

If the fans of immediate withdrawal of American troops do have their way, I hope they have made plans for refugee resettlement. We’d be walking away from a lot of Iraqis who had trusted us to stick around long enough to give them breathing room, room to make a difference; think on all those Iraqi military and police and their families, the local national contractors and employees, the intelligentsia, and the tribal leaders will be on someone’s hit-list as soon as our boots are off the ground. The Kurds had ten years of protection under the no-fly zone, and they’ve made the most of it: the Kurdish region manages to function fairly well… but they had a head start advantage, and may be able to hold their own. For a while, anyway.

Frankly, if we’re going to abandon them to the wolves by withdrawing our troops as the Democratic leadership keeps insisting we do, than decency demands an evacuation plan. The study group members should consider who should be evacuated with their families, agree on where to park the initial refugee camps, how to transport the refugees stateside, and to power up the volunteer resettlement efforts… you know, the same sort of plans that we put together for the Vietnamese refugees in 1975.

It would be the decent thing to do, after all.

“Sgt. Mom” is a freelance writer and retired Air Force NCO who blogs at www.sgtstryker.com, and lives in San Antonio.

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