vrijdag 8 april 2011

The time to quit Iraq is now (17-01-2006) Intelligence Squared

Time: 01:53:1017 Jan 2006
MP4 - 398 MB


Intelligence Squared, the global forum for live debate, is dedicated to creating knowledge through contest.

The panel debate the motion: The time to quit Iraq is now. Chaired by James Naughtie.

Arguing for the motion are Dr Rosemary Hollis, Alastair Crooke and Sir Simon Jenkins.

Rosemary Hollis argues that the military contingent in Iraq should immediately prepare a military exit. She suggests that Britain should now switch the effort to a more positive, ‘hearts and minds’ emphasis on the civilian sector.

Alastair Crooke points to two key developments: the perception everywhere that the US (and therefore UK) is on its way out and that the Shia victory has granted the tools of influence to the government of Tehran. Cooke breaks down the arguments in favour of staying and ends with a call for diplomacy, pointing out that we need to establish a dialogue with all countries involved.

Simon Jenkins says we need to give Iraqis what we promised them, but that, at the moment, we are not doing this. Overall, he suggests that the Iraqi government will be undermined if it is seen as a puppet of the west – if it is regarded in this way, democracy will never take root. In Jenkins’ view, this is surely grounds enough for a complete military withdrawal.

Arguing against the motion are Amir Taheri, Tim Spicer and William Shawcross.

Amir Taheri hasn't heard requests for coalition forces to quit Iraq, either from Iraqis or from other coalition countries. Even those who opposed the invasion are not saying we should leave, but rather say that if you have broken something, you have to fix it. The only group that would benefit from immediate withdrawal of Allied forces is the insurgents.

Tim Spicer notes the horrible suffering experienced by Iraqis under the rule of Saddam Hussein. He says that the insurgency comes as no surprise, describing many insurgents as no more than criminals. He suggests that, until a proper police force is in place, insurgency will continue to flourish. Spicer emphasises that there is no civil war waging in Iraq, that the Iraqi army are making great steps forward, and that we need to give them the breathing space in which to prepare.

William Shawcross believes the idea that we should quit now to be frivolous. This is not an imperial venture, but a liberation. Iraqis have made an extraordinarily good start; why then are we running scared and why have we so little patience? Shawcross suggests that we should look beyond the Iraq seen in news reports and remain there until the Iraq behind the scenes is able to slowly rebuild itself.

First Vote: 246 For, 283 Against, 198 Don't Know

Final Vote: 272 For 431 Against, 36 Don't Know

The motion is defeated by 159 votes

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