It seems to me that the major political parties is missing an opportunity by not calling for a referendum in Iraq.
The U.S. has been tied down for the last two years with no real change in strategy. Things have only gotten worse, as far as sectarian warfare goes.
The U.S. seems to be divided between those who say "stay the course" -- whatever that means -- and those who propose leaving at certain specified dates, regardless of the situation in the Mideast at that time.
Maybe we should find out the opinion of the people involved, note their elected representatives. The representatives seem incapable of even getting themselves organized, let along controlling the country. One thing we seem to have taught the Iraqi people is how to have elections. They have had three successful ones, with good turnout and, according to foreign observers, generally quite fair. We should request the Iraqi government to call a referendum for early October, asking, "Do you want the American military forces to stay or leave?"
If the vote is for us to leave, it is well that we find it out now. Perhaps the majority of the Iraqi people would rather fight it out among themselves with the winning group taking charge of the remaining shambles. If so, we are wasting lots of money, and many young peoples' lives to no good purpose.
On the other hand, if the vote is for us to stay, it should strengthen our case in requiring the present Iraqi government to stop their partisan squabbling, and to start acting like a government.
One thing for sure is, as soon as we start talking about a referendum, life will become easier for Secretary of State Rice. As things are, the French, Germans, and particularly the Russians, have it both ways. They let us do all the heavy lifting, and then complain about how we do it. If they think we are going to leave them the mess, they will snap to attention in a hurry. They are all much closer to the Middle East turmoil than we are, and all have a much higher percentage of Muslims in their population than we do, particularly Russia.
It seems to me that an early resolution of whether the victims even want to be rescued, is a reasonable question to ask.
Dan Adams, Payson