Archive for U.S. Withdrawal from Iraq

Iraq’s Future, There is Room for Optimism

Posted in Opinions, Politics with tags , , on December 22, 2011 by Ian Pham

With America’s troops now gone from Iraq, one can’t help but wonder what the future has in store for the war-ravaged country.  Many analysts often point back to the Vietnam fiasco as an indicator of where Iraq may be headed, which, in the opinion of this blogger, as overly pessimistic.  There are some parallels between the two wars, but these similarities should not be the basis for which to predict the future of Iraq.  It is true that there is much unfinished business for the Iraqi people, but that does not mean that they are doomed to meet the same fate as the people of South Vietnam in the 1970’s.  Iraq has a chance for a new beginning, and this opportunity can bring great things.

It is fair to say that the exit of the U.S. from Iraq is reminiscent of the event in 1972, when the Americans frantically escaped Vietnam in the wake of a Communist surge.  But even here, the similarities between the two cases are somewhat thin.  When the U.S. withdrew from Vietnam in 1972, they did so knowing full well that South Vietnam would eventually fall to the Communist forces.  That event is rather different than the case in Iraq today.  Like Vietnam, the United States can no longer carry on the war in Iraq.  However, unlike Vietnam, the Obama administration is not leaving Iraq to certain death, but rather a blank slate to shape its own destiny.

Iraq’s future is uncertain, which only means that the country’s challenges are equally matched by its opportunities.  Despite the many tensions between the rival factions within the country, the chance of Iraq reemerging strong and unified is real.  Now that the U.S. troops are gone, the future of Iraq rests solely in the hands of its people.  The war may be over for the United States, but for the Iraqi people, the real challenge is only beginning.  What happens next is entirely up to them.

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